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Men's tennis wins 4-3 on Senior Night

DANVILLE (EIU) — Eastern Illinois men's tennis had two big wins by seniors Trent Reiman and Jared Woodson as the Panthers beat Marian (Indiana) 4-3 on Saturday evening for EIU's Senior Day match at the Danville Tennis Center.

EIU opened the match winning the doubles point as the Panthers had wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to win the point.

Freddie O'Brien would give the Panthers a 2-0 lead with his win at No. 1 singles beating Nathan Bogle 6-1, 6-0.

Marian would then win the next three points to take a 3-2 lead in the match with wins at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 singles.

The final two matches of the evening would determine the outcome as two of EIU's three seniors came up big. Reiman won at No. 5 singles, beating Nicholas Marroquin, 6-4, 6-1. Woodson would win at No. 6 singles with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Max Ismoilov.

EIU improved to 6-16 and will return to action next Friday at the OVC Tournament in Nashville. Marian fell to 13-9.

Belmont took the men's regular-season title, while Tennessee Tech is No. 2, followed by Jacksonville State, Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay and Eastern Illinois. JSU beat EIU during their regular-season meeting. EIU was 1-5 in OVC play.

The three-day event will take place April 20-22 in Nashville at the Centennial Sportsplex.

Women's tennis beats UT Martin 5-2

DANVILLE (EIU) — Eastern Illinois women's tennis wrapped up the 2018 regular season on Saturday afternoon, beating UT Martin 5-2 at the Danville Tennis Center.

The Skyhawks opened the match winning the doubles point, as they won at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. The Panthers did win at No. 2 doubles with Emily Pugachevsky and Karla Contreras winning 6-3.

The Panthers would then rebound to win five of the six points in singles play to move back to .500 on the season. EIU won all of their five singles matches in straight sets.

Stella Cliffe won at No. 1 singles 6-4, 6-2. Grace Summers played at No. 3 singles, picking up a 6-2, 6-1 win.

Srishti Slaria won at No. 4 singles 6-0, 6-1. Pugachevsky won at No. 5 singles 6-4, 6-1 while Claire Martin won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 6 singles.

EIU improved to 12-12 on the year, 6-3 in the OVC. The Panthers will play on Friday at the OVC Championships in Nashville. UTM fell to 4-13 overall, 4-5 in the OVC.

Eastern Kentucky won the women's regular-season crown, while Murray State earned the No. 2 seed followed by Austin Peay, Jacksonville State, Eastern Illinois and UT Martin.  EIU won the regular season meeting between EIU and JSU.  

The three-day event will take place April 20-22 in Nashville at the Centennial Sportsplex.

Baseball splits games with Belmont

Charleston (EIU) — The Eastern Illinois baseball team split games with Belmont over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the Panthers were able to hold off the Bruins to take the second game of the series 6-2.

Alex Stevenson got the start on the mound for the Panthers and tossed 6.1 innings, with six hits, two runs, two walks and two strikeouts. Stevenson was able to pick up his second win of the season, improving to 2-5 on the season.

Jake Haberer earned his first save of the season, tossing 2.2 innings in relief. Haberer struck out three batters and allowed two hits.

The Panthers jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the second inning when Ryan Knernschield hit a two-run single to left center with the bases loaded.

Belmont was able to answer back in the top of the fourth inning tying the game at two. Chas Hadden got the Bruins on the board with a double to right field. Ben Kocher would drive in the tying run for the Bruins with a sacrifice fly to right field.

EIU battled back in the fifth inning to grab the lead for the second time in the game. Knernshield earned his third RBI of the game, driving another single to left field and scoring Dougie Parks.

Matt Albert would extend the Panther lead in the bottom of the eighth inning clearing the bases with a three-run double.

Jimmy Govern finished 3-for-5 with a run. Parks went 1-for-2 with three walks, two runs and a double. Albert finished the day 1-for-2 with three RBIs, two walks and a double. Knernschield finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a walk.

In Sunday's game, Belmont's offense was able to score late in the game to defeat the Panthers 5-2. Both teams combined for 18 hits in the third game of the series.

With the loss, Eastern Illinois drops to 12-21 (4-12 OVC), while Belmont improved to 14-21 (9-9 OVC) on the season.

Casey Queener picked up the win on the mound for the Bruins, improving to 4-3 on the season. Queener tossed 8.0 innings, with 10 strikeouts, seven hits, two runs and a walk. Kyle Brennon earned his second save of the season, tossing one inning of relief, allowing two hits and striking out one batter.

Jack Wolfe suffered the loss on the mound for the Panthers. With the loss, Wolfe dropped to 1-1 on the season.

Jimmy Govern got the scoring started early for the Panthers as he belted his second home run of the season in the first inning.

Belmont was able to take the lead from the Panthers in the third inning. Devon Gardner got the Bruins on the board with a one-run single, scoring Cully Day. The Bruins would grab the lead off a Matt Cogen double to left center, which scored Gardner.

EIU would answer back in the bottom of the third inning, tying the game at two. Joseph Duncan hit his first home run of the season, sending a solo home run to left center.

Belmont was able to take the lead from the Panthers in the sixth inning when Austin Reynolds would score on a throwing error by Jimmy Huber.

In the top of the ninth Belmont extended their lead by scoring on a Chas Hadden Single and a Ben Kocher sacrifice fly.

Matt Albert finished 3-for-4 with a double. Duncan finished 1-for-3 with a run, home run, and RBI. Govern went 1-for-4 with a run, home run, and RBI.

Track places 3 first-place finishes at Illini Twilight

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA (EIU) — Eastern Illinois posted 27 top-five finishes, including three first-place finishes on Saturday evening as the Panthers wrapped up competition at the Illini Twilight.

Riley McInerney opened the running events for the Panthers with a first-place finish in the men's steeplechase as the senior won the event with a time of 9:02.23. On the women's side, Caroline Collet was third in the steeplechase with a time of 11:55.83.

Indoor All-American Haleigh Knapp won the women's high jump as the senior cleared 5-7 for the win. On the men's side, Ashton Wilson was second with a jump of 6 3/4.

Pedra Hicks had a pair of top-ten EIU performances as she won the 400-meter hurdles and placed third in the 100-meter hurdles. Her winning time in the 400-meter hurdles was 1:00.29, which improved upon her own school record in the event. Her third-place time in the 100-meter hurdles of 14.05 ranks sixth on the EIU career list. Louisa Rieger was fourth in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.13.

Freshman MaKenna Wilson may have had one of the best days for EIU as she landed in the top five in all four throws events. Wilson was third in the javelin and the shot put. Her javelin throw was 118-9, while her shot put mark was 42-4. She was fifth in the discus and hammer throw. Her discus measured 133-2 with her hammer throw landing at 148-1.

Three other EIU women's throwers each posted one top-five finish in an event. Kaitlyn Ebert was fourth in the javelin with a throw of 112-11. Jasmine Woodley was third in the hammer with a throw of 157-1. Abby Nicholson was fifth in the shot put with a mark of 41'5".

In men's throws, Nick Phillips moved up the EIU career list in the hammer while Ryan Pearce had a pair of top five finishes. Phillips was third in the hammer with a throw of 185-4, which ranks fourth on the EIU career list. Pearce was fourth in both the discus and shot put. His discus throw was 151-8 with his shot put mark landing at 51'6.50".

Senior Davion McManis was a top finisher in both track and field events. McManis was second in the men's long jump at 23-10 1/4 and fourth in the 100-meter dash at 10.65. Teammate Devante Smith was fifth in the 100-meter dash at 10.69.

Joe Smith and Chrisford Stevens were in the top five in both sand jumps for the Panther men. Smith was fourth in the long jump and third in the triple jump. His long jump mark was 23-2 1/2 and his triple jump measured 48-5 1/4. Stevens, who won OVC Male Field Athlete of the Week honors last week, was fifth in both events. His long jump was 22-7 1/4 while his triple jump was 47-11 1/4.

EIU closed out the night with solid efforts in two different running events. Shelby Siltman was third in the women's 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:01.44. Marcus Skinner was fourth in the 5K for the EIU men with a time of 15:05.13. Grace Rowan capped the night for the Panthers, finishing fourth in the women's 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:41.48.

Softball at SIUE canceled

CHARLESTON — Due to expected rain in the central Illinois area, Eastern Illinois softball's doubleheader at SIUE Sunday, April 15 was canceled. The games have been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at SIUE. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with Game 2 to follow at approximately 5 p.m.

The Panthers finished this week's play Friday at UT Martin. The Skyhawks handed EIU their first conference loss as they posted a 4-3 comeback win, but the Panthers rallied and won the second game 5-2. EIU is now 28-9 overall and 7-1 in the OVC heading into a week full of conference play.

EIU will return home next weekend and host Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State for conference doubleheaders. The Panthers will play TTU on Saturday, April 21 starting at 1 p.m. followed by JSU on Sunday starting at noon.

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