Eastern Illinois, Louisville Pick Up Victories

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Published on March 20 2013 11:29 am
Last Updated on March 20 2013 11:29 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois took advantage of some early Southern Illinois errors as the Panthers snapped a nine-game losing skid with an 11-7 victory over the Salukis on Tuesday afternoon at Coaches Stadium.

EIU scored six unearned runs against five different SIU pitchers as they improved to 4-14 on the season.  SIU fell to 9-11.

Nick Priessman started the Panthers off in the first as he drove home Mitch Gasbarro with an RBI single to right.  Gasbarro had reached on one of three errors committed by Saluki third basemen during the contest.

SIU would take its only lead of the game in the third inning as Matt Jones hit a two-run homer to left putting SIU up 2-1.  Jake Johansmeier (1-0) would settle down after that pitching five innings allowing three runs as he picked up his first collegiate win.

Gasbarro opened the bottom of the third reaching on an error.  He would come around to score as EIU plated three runs against SIU starter Brad Drust (1-2).  Brant Valach and Jacob Reese both delivered RBI singles in the inning.  Drust allowed four runs in 2.1 innings of work, only one run was earned.

“We came out and did the little things better today to pick up this win,” said head coach Jimmy Schmitz.  “We drew seven walks and a couple of those little hits by guys like Valach and Reese drove in runs.  We have been working with the guys to try and not press too much at the plate, today it paid off.”

Treysen Vavra tacked on two runs for the Panthers with a double to center in the fourth and Nathan Sopena delivered a three-run homer in the seventh to put EIU comfortably in front.  Sopena collected three of EIU’s nine RBI for the day.

Louisville 13, Southern Cal 6

The Louisville baseball team had won by shutout, blowout, in tight nine-inning contests and a tense 14-inning affair.

On Tuesday at Jim Patterson Stadium, the No. 4 Cardinals won in a different fashion: by rallying from a large deficit. Down five early to visiting Southern Cal, Louisville roared back with 10 unanswered runs in a 13-6 victory as the Cardinals won their eighth straight game and topped the Trojans for the first time in program history.

The five-run deficit was the largest hole Louisville (17-2) has found itself in this season. The Cardinals were down three to both Morehead State on Feb. 26 and Alabama on March 10 before rallying to win. After USC (8-12) posted a five-spot in the second, Louisville immediately got three runs back in the bottom half before exploding for six runs in the sixth and four more in the eighth. The Cardinals sent eight batters to the plate in the second, 10 in the sixth and nine in the eighth.

Louisville racked up 16 hits, its third highest single-game total of the year. Junior catcher Kyle Gibson (Henderson, Ky./Henderson County HS) tied a career-high with three hits and had two RBI and two runs scored, while junior third baseman Ty Young (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two walks. Senior second baseman Nick Ratajczak (Joliet, Ill./Gulf Coast CC) added two hits and two RBI, senior first baseman Zak Wasserman (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore HS) and junior rightfielder Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic HS) were both 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and junior centerfielder Adam Engel (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland HS) chipped in two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.