This archived article was written by: Boyd Lainhart
One hundred innings is a large amount of baseball for any frame of time. That verges on the ridiculous.
But that’s exactly what the USU Eastern Eagle’s baseball team completed last Saturday, Aug. 31, at Colorado Northwest Community College’s park, from 10:50a.m. start time till the 100th innin g ended at 5:55 p.pm.
Head Coach Scott Madsen plans this game as a fun way for his players to earn money by asking for sponsors for the game to pay for the fall season fee. The 100-inning game has been an annual event for the baseball team at USU Eastern, but this is the first time it has been played against another college. CNCC had also been doing the 100-inning game during intramural sports in the past, but asked USU Eastern coaches this year if we’d be interested in coming to their park to play against them.
After a week of practice and inter-squad scrimmages, the Eagle team took the three and a half hour trip to Columbine Park in Rangely, Colo., to face off against the CNCC Spartans.
Because of its daunting length, the game had to have some rule changes to speed the pace and to minimize injuries. These included substituting the pitcher for a pitching machine and giving the batter only two swings to put a ball in play. To even further speed up the game, USUE coach Madsen told his players to run a lap around the field for every pitch they let go by them without swinging.
With these new rules, the nine innings that would normally last around three hours, only took about 40 minutes. The game was played continuously from start to finish, lasting a total of seven hours and five minutes.
“It was tiring – but we found a way to have fun and finished better,” said Isaia (ICE) Helg.
The game gave players a lot of time to work on game situations and opportunities to tryout positions they wouldn’t normally play. In the finial stretch of the game, USUE had innings where only players who normally would only play the outfield fill all nine positions, or only pitchers and catchers would go out. This rotated for the last 15 innings or so until the final out, when all players rushed to their bags to gather their equipment as fast as possible, eager to finally be done.
There are 53 kids trying out this year for the team, which is slightly more then last years 45. “We are as talented or more this year, but it’s still early, we have a lot of kids with potential,” said Madsen “This summer’s tryout brought in a lot of talent and I wanted to bring in more guys so I could see them longer.”
With this many players trying out, its very competitive at each position, and while there is no limit on how many kids a team can have, a team is allowed only 26 players to suit up at each game.
Madsen remembers being a little unnerved at seeing a team last year having over 40 players in the dugout, and would maybe like to do something like that this year.
If you’d like to catch a little baseball this semester, the team has a short fall season starting September 5, at home against the Salt Lake Gulls at 1 p.m. A link to the full schedule can be found on the USUE athletics baseball page or at t.co/fvfp2DhnZv. Games are happening every weekend with most games happening at our home field on 900 North 1100 East until October 12.
Games are free to attend for USU Eastern students.