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

EIU baseball loses to non-D1 opponent for first time since 2019

Redshirt junior outfielder Dylan Drumke (10) hit a home run in the third inning to give EIU their only two runs. In the ninth, he was called out on interference when he threw his bat in the direction of a foul ball. (File)

Eastern lost their final game of the homestand to the Saint Xavier University Cougars on Wednesday at Coaches Stadium by a score of 4-2.  

The loss marks the first time Eastern lost to a non-Division I opponent since 2019. Junior left-handed pitcher Eli Cartwright started and went 3.1 innings giving up two earned runs on solo home runs in the top of the third.

After a game-tying two-run home run by redshirt junior outfielder Dylan Drumke in the bottom of the third, redshirt sophomore Joey Hagen came on to pitch. He gave up the go-ahead run on an error by sophomore third baseman Mike O’Connor and was hit with his first loss of the season.  

After the Cougars added a run in the seventh inning, the Panthers found themselves down to their last three outs. A hit by pitch and a base hit later, Drumke came to bat representing the winning run. On a 3-1 pitch he popped it up into foul territory right in front of Eastern’s dugout and Drumke threw his bat in the area where the ball landed. He was called out on interference. The Panthers ended up loading the bases but couldn’t score.  

Eastern manager Jason Anderson said the decision to call Drumke out on interference was a “made-up call” but acknowledged the fact that Drumke shouldn’t have thrown his bat in that spot. 

“You give [the umpires] an opportunity to make that call, they will,” Anderson said. “[Drumke threw his bat] on his home run earlier, so he thinks it was cute and it didn’t work out for him the second time.” 

The offense only mustered six hits and was unable to get lots of traffic on the bases throughout the game. Every time the Panthers put runners on base and put the Cougars in a jam, Saint Xavier would find a way to work out of it.  

“They didn’t compete at all,” Anderson said. “We struck out nine times.”  

Anderson gave credit where credit was due to Saint Xavier but said that this frustrating loss undoes a little of the progress the team had made. 

“It just takes us back another peg,” Anderson said. “This group takes the hard road.” 

The Panthers fall to 12-21 and will get out of town and travel to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for a three-game series. They’ve won six of their last seven games in Ohio Valley Conference play. Friday’s series opener is set to start at 6 p.m. 

 

Gabe Newman can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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