The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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EIU baseball prepares for 2024 season

Rob Le Cates
Eastern’s men’s baseball team practices in the Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse on Thursday evening. The team’s first game will be against the Florida A&M Rattlers on Feb. 16 in Tallahassee at Bragg Memorial Stadium at Florida A&M’s campus.

Eastern’s baseball team, the reigning Ohio Valley Conference champions, is ready to hit the field.

The Panthers finished last season with an overall record of 38-21 and a conference record of 13-11.

This year, the Panthers have several key players returning alongside some talented newcomers.

“We have some pretty good experience on the team,” head baseball coach Jason Anderson said. “A lot of new guys that you’re excited about, but we’re in the process of trying to figure out how we utilize them best within the framework of a baseball game to have success.”

Last season, the team had three players earn first-team All-OVC honors.

One of those three players has another year of eligibility to play with the Panthers this season: fifth-year right-handed pitcher Zane Robbins.

Robbins, a bullpen pitcher at Eastern, was chosen as the first-team All-OVC relief pitcher.

Robbins has won this award for the past two seasons. Last season, Robbins made 27 appearances and had a 1.57 ERA.

Robbins is currently tied for first place in saves in program history with 18 across his career.

In the OVC, he is ranked first in saves (seven) and fourth in appearances (27).

“I mean, we all knew our role was expected out of us,” Robbins said. “We all work on our craft and make sure you succeed in the moment. The guys stepped up the whole year long, on all aspects of hitting, pitching and fielding. Whenever there were some guys to step up, they did and made best of the moment, which led us to a championship.”

The Panthers also have some promising newcomers with 24 new faces being added to the rosters.

Anderson was a little concerned at first but overall excited to get out on the field and see all the players’ potentials.

“I’m very excited about the roster. We’ve had a lot of success with the program because of the culture and the type of people we’ve had in the program,” Anderson said. “Everybody’s worked hard, and we have talent. We’re ready to go see if we can put it all together and win big games on the field.”

Eastern’s baseball program has achieved great success over the years. One of the team’s most notable accomplishments was winning the OVC Championship.

“When we all come into the program, that’s our expectation to win. Win a championship and make it to a regional,” Robbins said. “So, we go into it this year and we’re trying to one up from last year, trying to make it to a regional, but we’re also trying to win a regional this year.”

Anderson is taking this season one step at a time, looking forward to all the games and, most importantly, his team improving each step of the way.

“It’s kind of a buildup phase for us, but knock on wood everybody’s healthy, and we’re ready to go at this point,” Anderson said.

Eastern’s first game of the season is Feb. 16 at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Central Standard Time.


Payton Liggins can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Payton Liggins
Payton Liggins, Reporter
Payton Liggins is a freshman sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.
Rob Le Cates
Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief
Rob Le Cates is a junior journalism major. He previously served as summer editor-in-chief, photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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