This archived article was written by: KC Smurthwaite
The Golden Eagle baseball, after winning five of the last six games, lost their last eight games. They were swept in four games by the 15-ranked Salt Lake Community College and College of Southern Nevada. Eastern has not benefitted from numerous of injuries to key starters.
One of those injuries is sophomore 3B/RHP Kody Christoffersen who will be out another three weeks after receiving a blood transfusion and will likely need surgery after the season.
The Eagles fought hard against Salt Lake CC in all but one game. Eastern played one of their best defensive and pitching series on the year, but the bats went silent. In the four-game series, Eastern garnered five runs against Bruin pitching. The Eagles were out hit 35-15 in the four-game series. Chance Abrath, had four hits against SLCC on the series, paced the Eastern offense. The boys from Price received great pitching performances from Tory Ulibarri (6.2 IP, 3 ER), Kort Christoffersen (6 IP) and (Andrew Mahalik 4.1 IP, 3 ER).
“We were in every game but one this weekend. In the past when we play Salt Lake, our team shuts down and plays tentatively, but we really only played that way once this weekend,” said Head Coach Scott Madsen. The Golden Eagles did have the Bruins on the ropes in the last inning in the second game of the series. In the final at bat, Eastern had two runners on as Mason Moore hit a deep fly ball to the fence, but the wind was blowing in and kept the ball from leaving the park. Eastern lost that game 4-3. “Any other day that ball would have left the field. Unfortunately that day the wind was blowing about 20 MPH,” said Madsen.
The Golden Eagles woes continued against College of Southern Nevada. Eastern’s pitching and offense were keeping them in the ball game, but the defense committed 10 errors in the four-game series. Eastern dropped all four games by the scores of 8-4, 17-6, 6-0 and 10-3. The Coyotes’ pitching staff was roughed up by the long-ball as Matt Gochis, Abrath and Nuho Kraja all contributed home-run shots in the series. Kraja, led the offense all weekend as he had a hit every game and ended the series 7-14 from the plate.
“It’s tough to lose eight games in a row. We are looking forward to the second part of the season. I think we have all the jitters out and know what to expect every weekend,” said freshman Reggie Gates. The Golden Eagles have more wins then they did at the same time last year. Eastern now starts the second round of conference play before the region tournament in mid-May.
The Golden Eagles next home game will head to Twin Falls, Idaho, to face College of Southern Idaho. The next home series will be April 13-14 against the top-ranked Western Nevada College.