EIU baseball to start OVC games Friday at home


University of Arkansas

The Eastern Illinois University baseball team comes out of the dugout to celebrate with fellow players after their win against the Arkansas State Razorbacks at Baum-Walker Stadium

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Eastern baseball team has not played any Ohio Valley Conference games so far this season, but it is gearing up for the start of OVC games this Friday at 3 p.m. 

The Panthers will take on UT Martin in a three-game series at Coaches Stadium as Saturday and Sunday’s games are slotted to being at 1 p.m. Friday’s game will be the first game against two OVC opponents this season. 

Southeast Missouri and SIUE will be facing off this weekend along with Morehead State and Southern Indiana and Lindenwood and Little Rock.  

In the OVC Preseason Poll, the Panthers were picked to finish third. The rest of the OVC Preseason Picks are as follows: 

  1. Southeast Missouri 
  2. Morehead State 
  3. Eastern Illinois 
  4. Little Rock 
  5. Tennessee Tech 
  6. SIUE 
  7. UT Martin 
  8. Southern Indiana 
  9. Lindenwood 

Although there have been no OVC games, the Panthers are currently second in the OVC based on their 10-4 overall record. 

SIUE is in first place with a 13-5 overall record, Little Rock is in third place with a 10-7 overall record, Morehead State is 9-10 overall, putting them in fourth place and Southeast Missouri is locked in fifth place with a 10-12 overall record.  

The bottom half of the conference includes Tennessee Tech, Southern Indiana, UT Martin, and Lindenwood.  

Senior utility player Ryan Ignoffo was selected to the Preseason All-OVC team along with sophomore infielder Chris Worcester.  

Chris Worchester, a sophomore infielder, throws the ball to the pitcher during their game against the Arkansas State Razorbacks at Baum-Walker Stadium. (University of Arkansas)

Through 14 games, Ignoffo is seventh on the team with a .294 batting average. He has recorded 15 hits, four home runs, and 14 RBIs. Worcester is fourth on the team with a .344 batting average. In 32 at bats, Worcester had recorded 11 hits, one home run, and five RBIS.  

The Panthers are currently first in the OVC in team batting with a team average of .283. They have recorded 139 hits and 18 home runs. 

Junior catcher Grant Lashure is third on the team with a .355 batting average. Through 31 plate appearances, Lashure has recorded 11 hits and four RBIs. He currently leads the conference with his .355 batting average  

Junior utility player Cole Gober is first in the conference in hits with 21 hits through 14 games. He has a .339 batting average, and he has recorded five home runs and 15 RBIs.  

In team pitching, the Panthers are third in the conference. They have a 4.97 ERA, allowing 67 earned runs and 128 hits. Graduate student right hander Ky Hampton is third in the conference in individual pitching. 

Hampton has a 2.45 ERA this season, allowing 22 hits and seven earned runs. Hampton was able to strike five batters out against Florida A&M back in February, setting his season high. He pitched eight innings against Dayton earlier this month, allowing eight hits and one earned run. 

The Panthers will look to continue their winning streak as they have won six games in a row. Their next opportunity will be against Bellarmine on Tuesday at 1 p.m. 

Then, the Panthers will be on the road again to take on Saint Louis in Saint Louis starting at 4 p.m. 


Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]