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Football adds four more

CHARLESTON – Eastern Illinois first-year head football coach Adam Cushing and his staff continue to add players from the Panthers recruiting base as the Panthers announced the addition of four more players to this year’s 2019 EIU Football Recruiting Class.

The most recent additions to this year’s football class are Trevon Brown, Anthony Manaves, Jeremiah Ross and Nick Stricker. Manaves and Stricker will play the “Super Back” position in the Panthers offense.

“We are excited about the addition of these four young men to our EIU Panther family,” said Cushing. “We continue to build a strong foundation of players from our home base of recruiting (Illinois) and surrounding areas like Ohio. These are all great football players and great people.”

The Panthers have now added 30 total players with 23 announced on National Signing Day on Feb. 6, and three during the early signing period in December. Of the 30 new players, 21 are from the state of Illinois with another five from surrounding states.

EIU will open the 2019 season on Aug. 31 at Chattanooga with the home opener on Sept. 14 against Illinois State in the Mid-America Classic. Spring practice for the Panthers will begin on March 19 following spring break on campus.

Trevon Brown (Wide Receiver, 6-0, 180, Oak Park-River Forest) – Played for coach John Hoerster. Helped lead team to an 8-3 record and West Suburban Silver Conference title as a senior, the first for the program since 1998. The team advanced to the IHSA Class 8A state playoffs. Brown finished season with 670 yards receiving and also starter at safety forcing three turnovers by interception and forced fumble in state playoff game. Brown is a two-time All-Conference selection.

Anthony Manaves (Tight End, 6-4, 230, St. Patrick ) – Played for coach Adam Guerra and had nine catches for 33 yards and a touchdown as a tight end. He was a two-way starter at both tight end and defensive line and was a two-time All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection as team posted a 5-4 record during senior year. He will play the “super back” position at EIU.

Jeremiah Ross (Defensive Back, 6-2, 180, Lakota West, Ohio) – Played for coach Larry Cox an led the Greater Miami Conference in interceptions with six during senior season including one returned for a touchdown. He added 25 tackles with 18 solo stops and one forced fumble as a senior. He finished junior season with 29 tackles including 19 solo stops while adding two interceptions. Ross earned first-team All-Conference honors as a senior after second-team honors during junior campaign and was named to the D-1 All-Ohio team as a senior.

Nick Stricker (Offensive Line, 6-2, 260, Lemont) – Played offensive center for coach Bret Kooi and anchored an offensive line that helped team advance to the IHSA Class 6A state playoffs. His team posted a ten win campaign during junior season reaching Class 5A state quarterfinals. Sticker also saw time on defensive line at nose guard during prep career. He will play the “super back” position at EIU.

BASEBALL

Baseball wins final game against WKU

BOWLING GREEN, Kent. -- The Eastern Illinois baseball team closed out its series against Western Kentucky on Monday. EIU secured the first win of the season defeating WKU 8-1. The Panthers came close to the Hilltoppers Sunday falling 10-9 in game one in 10 innings and 5-4 in game two. 

Monday Spenser Dexter was dominant on the mound for the Panthers tossing 8 and a third innings. Dexter recorded seven strikeouts and only allowed one run on the afternoon. Dexter picked up his first win of the 2019 season and advanced to 1-0.

EIU broke into the scoring column in the top of the first inning when Matt Mackey drove an RBI double down the left field line. The Panthers continued their offensive push in the second inning adding another run to their lead. Dane Toppel drove in the Panthers’ second run of the game when he grounded out to short to score Ryan Knernschield.

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The Panthers added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning with five runs. Jimmy Huber led off the inning with a home run to right field. Knernschield followed up with a single to center. Grant Emme drew a walk to give the Panthers’ runner on the corners after Knernschield advanced to third on a wild pitch. Toppel drove in Knernschield with a double down the left field line. Kieth Kerrigan kept the Panther scoring alive with a two-run single up the middle. Mackey earned his second RBI of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly to right center.

Kerrigan earned his third RBI of the game with a one-run single to right field to score Emme in the top of the seventh.

Western Kentucky was able to break the shutout with a run in the bottom of the ninth.

Kerrigan finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs. Toppel went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, a double, and a run.

EIU travels to Baton Rouge, Louis., for a game against Southern University on Friday.

Baseball drops weekend doubleheader vs. WKU

BOWLING GREEN, Kent. — The Eastern Illinois baseball team kicked off their series doubleheader against Western Kentucky on Sunday. Eastern Illinois fell short by one run in both games of the doubleheader on Sunday. The Panthers won the final game of the series.

EIU drops to 1-5, while Western Kentucky advances to 5-2.

Game One: Western Kentucky 10, Eastern Illinois 9 (10 innings)

Govern hit a two-run single to left field to cut the WKU lead to 9-8. The Panthers tied the game in the top of the eighth when Keith Kerrigan hit a sacrifice bunt to score Grant Emme.

Western Kentucky was able to walk off in the bottom of the tenth on a balk to win 10-9.

Game Two: Western Kentucky 5, Eastern Illinois 4

The Panthers were able to grab the lead from Western Kentucky with a three run third inning. Topel kicked off the inning with a lead off single up the middle. Govern followed suit with a single to left field. Mackey drove in Toppel with an RBI single to left field. Jimmy Huber followed up with an RBI double to right field to score Govern. Knernschield kept the rally alive with an RBI single up the middle.

Western Kentucky was able to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to right field.

 

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Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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