By Brett Gibson/Sports editor
Eastern came out in short sleeves Tuesday afternoon to take on Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne on a sunny and rather warm day. Eastern jumped out to a big lead early in the first inning scoring nine runs to IPFW’s one run. “We really had talked to our guys about coming out and being ready to play and we’ve been behind so many times that our guys are getting used to believing that we can get some things done,” head coach Elvis Dominguez said.
The Colonels came out in the second inning and held IPFW scoreless while scoring nine more runs in the bottom half of the second inning to lead the game, 19-1. The Colonels then put up three more runs in the third inning, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and five in the eighth inning.
“We have a good offensive ball club as a matter of doing what we are capable of doing and today I think we did that,” Dominguez said. “Josh Anderson led off with a home run and from there it just snowballed. We had nine in the first inning, nine in the second and that was good to see.”
Eastern won the contest 29-13 and moves its record to 8-12 for the year. Eastern as a team combined for a season high of 31 hits.
“It is the most hits this season and I can honesty say there weren’t cheap ones. I think our guys really stayed with what made it successful. They kept hitting the ball on the ground, kept hitting line drives and on a day like today some of those line drives managed to get out of the ball park,” Dominguez said. “I thought overall from top to bottom we swung the bat extremely well.”
Junior center fielder Josh Anderson went four for seven on the day with four runs scored and five RBI’s. Jonathan Woodard also went four for seven at the plate with four runs scored and four RBI’s for the day.
Junior third baseman Neil Sellers connected four out of six times at the plate and second baseman Adam Visnic went three for five on the day. First baseman Will Whisenant had four hits on the day along with two RBI’s and three runs scored.
Eastern continued play yesterday against Shawnee St. Scores and highlights will be in next week’s sports edition of The Progress. The Colonel’s’ next home game will be
April 12-13 as Eastern hosts Southeast Missouri State.
“We basically were the aggressors today in the first four or five innings and I think that’s what happened. We were able to take it to them early and put pressure on them early,” Dominguez said.
Eastern vs. UNC-Greensboro
Eastern traveled to North Carolina Friday night to take on the Spartans of UNC-Greensboro in a three-game series.
Eastern was scheduled to play three games against the Spartans, but due to weather conditions the final game on Sunday was canceled.
Eastern lost both games against UNC-Greensboro, 3-1, 10-4, moving its record to 7-12 on the year going into Wednesday’s match-up against IPFW.
“It was a great game on Friday night, they just managed to put two or three hits together and score a few runs and that was that,” Dominguez said.
In the first game against the Spartans, both pitching staffs seemed to bring their game to the mound as both teams were held scoreless in the first inning.
“We saw some great pitching this weekend at Greensboro. They are a very solid team,” Dominguez said.
UNC-Greensboro scored one run in both second and third innings putting the Spartans in the lead 2-0. Both teams would then go scoreless over the next three innings until Chris Clark singled, driving in Stephen Carter who scored the only run of the game for the Colonels.
Eastern would be held scoreless the next two innings to lose the contest 3-1.
Nick Barte pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out two batters and walking one. Barte’s record moves to 1-2 on the year.
The following day, Eastern went up against the Spartans in the second game of the series falling by a final score of 10-4.
UNC-Greensboro (21-6) held the Colonels to only three hits and allowed only two runners beyond second base.
The Spartans jumped on top quickly scoring two runs in the first inning. UNC added a run in the fourth along with four runs in the fifth and three runs in the seventh to make it a Spartan 10-0 lead.
The Colonels put two runs on the board in the eighth and two more in the ninth but the Spartans were just too much early in the contest as Eastern lost, 10-4.
Western Kentucky 8
Eastern’s baseball team held onto its lead in the ninth inning to prevail against in-state rival Western Kentucky, March 26, 12-8.
Western jumped on top early in the game after running three players across the plate in its first at bat. Eastern came back in the second inning to score four runs with five straight hits and a fielder’s choice to push the lead up one, 4-3.
Catcher Chris Clark and Whisenant dropped in back-to-back RBI doubles to start the scoring rally for Eastern.
Shortstop Robbie Price scored a run when he batted for a single and later crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice by left fielder Stephen Carter.
In the bottom of the sixth, still leading 5-4, Anderson drove his first home run of the year over the right field fence to extend Eastern’s lead, 8-4.
Western came back in the following inning with three runs of its own cutting the lead to one, 8-7.
Second baseman Adam Visnic led off the seventh inning with a single followed by Clark’s third home run of the season to push the Colonels lead out to three, 10-7. Eastern’s scoring would not be over in the inning as Whisenant reached base on an error followed by Anderson who was intentionally walked to load the bases for the Colonels.
Right fielder Brett Bolger knocked in a two-run single to give Eastern its largest lead of the game, 12-7.
Pitcher Nick Adams won his second game of the year allowing four earned runs on five hits through six innings. Visnic went three for five on the day scoring two runs while Price went three for three with three runs scored for the Colonels. Anderson and Clark both homered and scored three runs each for Eastern.
“It was great to see that we can compete with that type of ball club. I told my kids not to hang their head high because this is the type of team we are going to have to face in the regionals,” Dominguez said.