This archived article was written by: Riley Spears
With the exciting basketball season behind us and the weather becoming favorable for outside sports, it’s time for the College of Eastern Utah’s baseball team to show off what they can do.
The pre-season was not all it was cracked up to be and the men ended up with a 7-7 record. Now that the grueling conference schedule is underway, EU had a tough start going 5-15 in the conference.
The two Nevada schools lead the conference standings with Western Nevada sitting at no. one with a 17-3 record followed by College of Southern Nevada sitting at no. two with a 16-4 record. College of Southern Idaho is no. three with 12-8, Salt Lake Community College four with 8-12, CEU fifth with 5-15 and Colorado Northwestern sixth with a 2-18 record.
The first weekend against Western Nevada CEU started pitcher Bradley Jackson. He had a rough first inning against WNC, giving up five runs in the first inning, but CEU managed to get one back.
The second inning didn’t get much better for the CEU defense giving up 4 more runs. In the second inning Jackson was taken out and Brett Barrett was put in to stop the bleeding for CEU. Barret did a good job by shutting down the offense in that second inning.
CEU outscored WNC in the third inning bringing three Eagles across the plate while WNC could only manage two. Going into the fourth, the score was 11-4. After a goose egg was put up by both teams in the fourth, WNC started to again hit the ball and brought six more across the plate giving them 17 for the game. CEU would have to score four more runs to keep this game going and could only manage one. The game ended with a 17-5 score and WNC out hitting CEU 14-8. EU also had a lot of errors collecting four in the game.
The next game started off closer than the first with a 4-2 score after the first inning. Jesse Hartle started off the game and gave up five runs in two innings of work.
After the second inning, WNC put on a hitting clinic, scoring 18 runs in the third inning and hitting all the pitchers CEU threw at them. After that huge inning, CEU could not bring any runners home and WNC got five more. The game ended at 28-5. Errors (9) and poor pitching doomed the Eagles.
The next game CEU’s bats were again quiet and could not manage to get a run across the whole game and ended up losing 9-0.
With the end of the miserable weekend in sight, CEU had one more game to prove to everyone they are better than they had shown thus far. It was the lefty Brennen Hallows that seemed to have the answer to WNC’s hitting attack going five innings and not surrendering a run in five innings of work.
CEU had the lead going into the fourth inning 2-0. In the sixth CEU put in Cameron Schmidt going four innings and only giving up two runs. The game was tied and went into extra innings. CEU got in an early jam and brought in reliever Brad “Brink” Brinkerhoff hoping for a huge win in extra innings. He came in and gave up a run in the extra inning, enough to give WNC the win and the four-game sweep of CEU with a 3-2 final score.
Coach Scott Madsen said, “A pitcher that has really done a good job for us this season is Brennan Hallows. He is giving quality starts each time that he goes out there. This is a young pitching staff and he has done a nice job in working through a lot of different situations.”
Colorado Northwestern CC
After that rough weekend, CEU hoped to pick up that always tough first win against Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Nathan Rink started the game for CEU and held CNCC scoreless through one inning. In the second, both CEU and CNCC put two runs on the board and none in the third. In the fourth CEU got one more across the plate, giving them the lead and what proved to be the winning run in the game. They tacked on one more in the sixth and got their first win, 4-2.
Hartle started off the next game and threw an amazing game, throwing seven innings and giving up two hits. CEU scored two runs in the third giving them the lead. Jackson came in after Hartle and kept the shutout alive, giving up no runs in one inning of work. CEU put up three more in the ninth inning and CNCC could not get their bats going, and CEU got the 5-0 win. CEU hit the ball well in the game collecting 12 hits.
For the third game, CEU sent out Swenson to the mound. He did a great job not giving up a run until the fourth. In the second inning, CEU put three on the board and gave them the lead. In the fourth, CEU and CNCC got one more. In the fifth CNCC got a rally going and scored four runs giving them the lead 5-4. Scoring one more in the sixth, CNCC got the win 6-4.
For the last game of the weekend, CEU came out on fire scoring run after run and putting up nine before CNCC knew what hit them. Hallows came out for the start and started with a huge lead. He gave up one in the first, but CEU got in right back in the second. CEU got one more in the fourth, giving them 11 for the game and the 11-1 win. CEU did not commit an error the entire game while CNCC committed four.
Madsen said, “I would say that my whole team is hitting the ball well right now. This is the first time in a lot of years that hitting is not really the problem. We hit for power and average on a consistent basis.”
The first game started off evenly with CEU’s Rink keeping SLCC on hold through three. In the fourth CEU scored three runs to the Bruin’s one. CEU had the lead going into the fifth but SLCC managed two in the inning and tied up the game at three. In the seventh SLCC scored three runs giving them the win 6-3.
For the second game, CEU started Hartle who gave up only three runs in seven innings of work. SLCC managed them two runs in the second and the game was at a stand still until the sixth. In the sixth and the seventh, SLCC scored two more runs. In the eight innings CEU brought in Kyler Edgehouse, a transfer from Nebraska. He gave up one run in two innings and despite some last inning heroics scoring two in the ninth, it was not enough and CEU lost 4-2.
In the third game, both teams came out hitting the ball and both scored two runs. In the second CEU managed three more and gave them the 5-2 lead. CEU again put one more run in the third and looked like they were in control. SLCC had other ideas, scoring four runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh. CEU could not get any more runs after the fourth and it proved to be the downfall to their 10-8 loss.
The final game was just like the other with SLCC and CEU staying close the whole game. CEU again started off with the lead scoring two runs in the second compared to SLCC’s one. CEU scored one more in the third and four in the fourth, while SLCC scored three in the fourth. SLCC scored one more in the seventh but could not get enough and CEU won 8-5.
Coach Madsen said, “The team is starting to play together more and more each week. They really work hard as a team and it is really starting to show.”
College of Southern Idaho
For the next weekend of ball, CEU had to face the College of Southern Idaho.
CSI and CEU both started the game the same scoring five runs in the first inning. Both teams again kept scoring in pairs, scoring one in the second and one in the third inning. After that the game went to CSI where they scored 11 unanswered runs. CEU lost the first match up 18-7.
In the next game CEU started off slow while CSI started like they did the first game. CSI scored in every inning and CEU could not match up against it with a final score of 22-10. EU was outscored 40-17 in two games on the first day.
After a horrific pitching day, the EU baseball team was in need of a pitcher to go deep (all but three pitchers were used in the first day against CSI). That’s exactly what CEU got from Hartle ( 4 1/3 ) and long reliever Brinkerhoff ( 2 2/3 ). Unfortunately the bats didn’t come alive until the bottom of the seventh when CEU was already down 7-0. CEU used five hits and three walks to climb back into the game and force extras. CSI came out and scored two runs on three hits in the top of the eighth to pull away from CEU. In the bottom of the inning CEU was sat down 1,2,3. CSI won 9-7.
In the second game, CEU got another deep outing by freshman pitcher Hallows who went 6 1/3 but gave up eight-earned runs. Eastern was able to knock out CSI’s pitcher in the third and kept things going by scoring three runs over the next two innings. In the home half of the fifth, Devin Bybee hit a clutch single that brought in two RBI’s to tie the game at seven a piece. Unfortunately, CSI held onto complete the sweep 10-7.
CEU had a few bright spots on the day with Chad Himmer going 3-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Eastern’s third basemen Eric Morgan picked up two hits. EU packs its bags to go west to face conference leading WN.
Madsen said, “I am excited to see how the rest of the season turns out. We have a team that is constantly battling, we are always in ball games. They are right on the verge of opening up and beating a lot of teams. I have seen it at times when we play some of the top teams in the nation and beat them. I am just waiting for it to all come together.”