This archived article was written by: Dillon Manzanares
USU Eastern baseball is in the process of becoming a playoff team. Whether it is this year or in the near future, that remains to be seen. Head Coach Scott Madsen stated, “We will have to win half of our season schedule in order to make the playoffs. It will be a tough, but an acheivable goal.” The squad’s pitching should be improved, as long as they stay healthy.
USU Eastern has many players that will enjoy the task of being leaders for this fairly young team. Matt Gochis is a returning sophomore and will be a leader on this team. Joe Barta, Denver Hansen, Hayden Basinger, and many other strong leaders will play big roles on this team. All this leadership should help the team out a lot, as we all know leadership is a huge quality to have on any sports team.
The team as a whole has a solid group of returning players, as well as a talented group of incoming freshmen or transfers. As far as hitting is concerned, Chance Abrath is returning and will play a huge role in that department. “ Along with Chance, we have a good group of talented players that have the potential to have great seasons,” stated Madsen. This year’s team is a great group of individuals that will continue to be good influences in the community and throughout the school.
This offseason has consisted of lifting and conditioning in order to improve on last year’s 13-43 season. They are hoping that all the hard work will pay off and show a big improvement in the win-loss column. Madsen has been the head coach at USU Eastern for the past nine seasons, as well as the pitching coach for four years before that. He is excited to get the season started on the right note.
Eastern is entering a new conference and they look forward to the opportunity of facing new teams in order to work towards a playoff spot. The new conference is the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, or ACCAC. It consists of Prairie, VI Mariners, Utah Utes Club, Utah State Club, Salt Lake Community College, Dawson, Colorado North Western, Miles City, and Arizona Christian.
USU Eastern’s first game is Sept. 7 against Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake. “SLCC is a great test for an opening game, as they have been a very tough team in the past years,” Madsen said. If you are a USU Eastern baseball fan, you should be excited about this season.