This archived article was written by: Shantel Hardy
Weather is slowly heating up and USU Eastern’s baseball team hit the field for a win last weekend in St. George, Utah. An interview of two of Eastern’s players—Kyle Durbin, short stop, and Hadley Thorpe, third baseman, after their four-game weekend, shows their perspective.
Working hard since fall ball, Thorpe thinks it will pay off this season, “Yeah, I feel like we’ve worked really hard . . . it was fun to finally get out and play this weekend. It feels good.” He looks forward to, “making friendships with guys that we just met. It will be nice to make lifelong friends throughout the season on the bus trips and staying together in the hotels.”
Discussing preparations, he says, “we have got a long way to go to be a winning team, but we’ve come a long way so far. So, I think we are headed in the right direction . . . we can do a lot of good things as a team. I think we could always improve, but like, just base running really needs improving so far, we’ll work on that at practice.”
He does not get pumped up for games, “I’m not much of a guy to get pumped up,” and would rather just stay relaxed. Thorpe’s only worries for the first games of the season is not to be swept. “We got beat two games the first day so, we were a little nervous. We wanted to make sure to get that first win this weekend.”
To stay motivated to win he said, “It just always feels a lot better to win than to lose. It’s tough to swallow when you’re losing.” Thorpe loved the St. George weather, “Oh, it’s really nice. It’s nice to get out of the snow and the wind.”
Durbin’s perspective on Eastern’s team strengths and as an individual. “As a team, I think, our pitchers did well. They kept us in the game, gave us enough chances.” As an individual “I feel like I played defense really well. We could improve on hitting a little bit but that will come with the year.”
His confidence for this season is high, “I think that this weekend showed that we compete with a lot of teams. That’s a very good baseball team we just played. We are in every game.”
Getting back on the field, “it was great. It was good to get out of Price and play somebody else—besides our own team.” He looks forward to future games, “it’ll be good to hit the road again. It’s a long bus ride, but worth it.”
Claiming that this year is much different from last year, “the chemistry is great. This year, it’s really special actually. All the guys get along. There’s really no arguments or anybody that hates anybody. It’s a different story this year.”
As a team and as individuals, emotions change drastically with a win or a loss, “We got a lot of guys that are pretty hard on themselves, losses are obviously a lot different than wins. As a win—we are pretty unselfish, it’s more of a good job to the other guy. Then losses we have to take upon ourselves.”
Just for fun, Durbin added his favorite “color” of Gatorade, “my favorite color of Gatorade has to be orange.”
Even though USU Eastern went 1-3 their first weekend of the season, they came out swinging. The first day losing 0-1 then 0-2 the second game. The second day they won 2-0 then lost 1-3 the second game, putting up a fight the entire time.