After a three-game skid against Georgia State last weekend, the Eastern baseball team looks to regain momentum as they travel to the Missouri on Tuesday.
Going from a five-game winning streak to losing three straight has put the Panthers at a 5-5 record. Every game the Panthers have played this season has been on the road, giving them experience playing on other fields.
The Panthers’ loss against Georgia State was an eye-opener for them. Even though their record this early in the season is better than years prior, the Panthers getting knocked down has humbled them and made them realize they need to return to form.
“We were perhaps flying a bit too high and lost sight of what we have to do to win games,” senior Matt Albert said. “Hopefully, the sweep made us realize that we can’t coast by and expect to beat quality teams.”
On the season, Albert has started off slow as his average comes to .143 in eight games; however, Albert has shown power with his two homeruns and five RBI’s. Albert said timing is everything and he is just trying to make it as consistent as possible.
Redshirt junior first baseman Hunter Morris continues to swing the bat well as last game, he hit a grand-slam against Georgia State in their 6-5 loss in 12 innings. Morris leads the Panthers in near every offensive category, batting .357 with 15 hits and 12 RBIs.
The Panthers are looking for revenge as they lost to the Tigers last year 10-1 on March 7. Even though the Panthers are having a more successful season, the Tigers have been a dominant force as of recently.
At one point, the Tigers had the same record as the Panthers at 5-3, but caught fire and are going into Tuesday’s game on a five-game win streak, putting their record at 10-3. During their streak, the Tigers have outscored their opponents 39-9.
Also, the Tigers have homefield advantage with a 6-1 record on their field. For the Tigers this season, their offense has propelled them as the team has four players averaging over .300.
Specifically, junior third baseman Brian Sharp is leading the team in multiple offensive categories: .475 average, three homeruns, 18 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .825.
The Panthers acknowledge the talent of the Tigers’ roster, but still believe in their veteran roster. One aspect the Panthers will have to adjust to is the environment of an SEC field.
“They have a good team, but we feel that we can stick with them if we play our game,” Albert said. “If we can stick to our game plan and not get overwhelmed by the environment, then it should be a good game.”
Tuesday’s game will have a 6:30 p.m. start time at Taylor Stadium.
Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or firstname.lastname@example.org