The Murray State baseball team returned to Ohio Valley Conference action Friday afternoon against Eastern Illinois, falling to the Panthers, 8-3.

EIU scored six runs in the first inning and never looked back as they won their seventh game of the season. They also improve to 2-2 in the OVC while the Racers fall to 6-10 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

This series was originally supposed to be played in Charleston, but field conditions forced the games to Reagan Field. With the Racers batting first, they went down in order before the Panthers scored six runs in the bottom of the first. The big blow was a two-run home run by Hunter Morris that got the Panthers off and rolling.

Trevor McMurray settled down after that, throwing four straight scoreless innings to finish his day.

“We had chances to make some plays and stop the bleeding, but we didn’t,” said head coach Dan Skirka. “I’m proud of Trevor for fighting back and putting up all those zeroes right after that.”

The Racers scored all their runs for the day in the fourth as Jake Slunder and Brock Anderson singled before Ryan Perkins walked to set up bases-loaded no outs for the Racers. A passed ball allowed the first run to score before Wes Schad knocked in the second run with a groundout. Jaron Robinson wrapped up the scoring with a pop-fly double to drive in Perkins and make it a 6-3 game.

Justin Thomas came out in relief in the sixth and threw three innings, keeping the Panthers off the board in the sixth and seventh innings before EIU added two insurance runs in the eighth.

In the ninth, Sean Darmafall and Jordan Cozart each recorded base hits, but the rally stopped there as the Panthers held on for an 8-3 victory.

The two teams will continue their series tomorrow at Reagan Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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