These past few weekends have been very eventful for our USU Eastern baseball team. Between long drives and working their way around winter weather, the Eagles played a total of 8 games in the last 14 days to open up conference play.
The Eagles first traveled to Rangely, Colorado to take on the Colorado Northwestern Community College Spartans. The weekend series was made long by multiple weather delays, but the Eagles and Spartans were eventually able to play the entirety of their 4-game series.
Games one and two were led by Dylan Sanchez and Ethan Udy at the plate, tallying multiple hits as the Eagles totaled 33 hits between the two games. Dawsen Hall, Ty Barker and Ryder Peterson contributed multiple hits each as the Eagle bats poured on 11 runs against the Spartan pitching. Freshman Riley Ashton was credited the win on the mound for the Eagles in game one, throwing 4 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits and zero runs. Ashton also finished the game with five strike outs to just one walk. The Eagles cruised to an 11-3 win. Kody Nelson got the win in game two, throwing 6 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, striking out 8 along the way.
Games three and four were great battles between both teams. Colorado Northwestern came out on top in game three as they took an early, 4-run lead over the Eagles in the third inning. Gabe Childs and Parker Applegate tried to will the Eagles to a comeback, but fell just short with a final score of 7-6. Applegate finished the game with three hits to lead the Eagles, tallied 11 hits as a team. Dylan Sanchez was able to help the Eagles complete a comeback win, however, in game four, as the Eagles won 7-5 thanks to the late game heroics of Sanchez. In the top of the seventh inning, Sanchez knocked a lead-changing Grand Slam to put the Eagles ahead by two runs. Karter Pope earned the victory on the mound for the Eagles.
The USU Eastern Eagles then travelled to Salt Lake Community College this past weekend to take on the Bruins in more conference play. The Eagles played their best as they were able to take game 4 of the 4-game series against the Bruins. With final scores of 1-10, 7-10, 1-3, and 18-8, the Eagles were able to find many positives as they continue on in conference play.
Sophomore pitcher Karter Pope gave us great insight into the team’s mindset, heading into the next stretch of conference games. “We ended up winning game 4 (against SLCC) by 10, which in all honesty, is what we needed for this next weekend with CSN. The skill level with our conference this year is honestly about equal, which means every game counts, coming down to the conference tournament and seeding. Out of my 3 years of being at Eastern, this is the best team we’ve had. I’m very excited to see how far we go, because this could very well be the year we make it to Grand Junction”.
The Eagles begin a 4-game homestand on Thursday, March 25th, as they welcome the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes. First pitch will be at 3 p.m.