The Utah State Eastern baseball team set out for a six-day eight-game road trip with four games against Cochise College and another four against Eastern Arizona.
The Eagles came out swinging, scoring three in the first thanks to a Dakari Armendariz single scoring Mack Bright, Davis Kirby and Ty Barker. USU Eastern added five more in the third, three coming from a Kaden Davis home run, followed by a Tyler Nelson triple scoring one and an RBI walk from Bright. Cochise answered with four runs in the third coming from a single and a double. In the top of the fourth, Kaden Davis hit a three-run triple bringing his RBI total up to six for the game. USUE added three more in the seventh from a Kirby single, Barker sacrifice fly and a wild pitch. Dylan Hawkes closed out the win for the Eagles, ending 14-4. The Eagles had 10 hits on the game coming from five different players who all had two hits.
Game two did not go well as Cochise jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Armendariz got the Eagles on the board, hitting a two-run double in the top of the fourth. He then had an RBI single in the seventh which was followed by an RBI groundout to cut down the lead 5-4. That was all the Eagles had for that game eventually losing 10-4. Luke Erickson and Armendariz each had two hits this game and Armendariz led the team with three RBI.
The Eagles had nothing going in game three, losing 11-2. Kaden Davis had two of the team’s three hits and had an RBI.
Game four did not go the Eagles way either, losing that one 11-1. Four players had one hit and the lone run was brought in on a Seth Nate sacrifice fly.
Game one in Thatcher, against Eastern Arizona, was a pitcher’s duel that ended with the Gila Monsters walking it off in the seventh. Ky Decker was dominant on the mound, once again, throwing five innings allowing only three hits and striking out five. The Eagles ended with four hits, two coming from Bright.
The Eagles got back on track in game two, getting a run off a wild pitch to take an early 1-0 lead. With the game tied 1-1 in the fifth, Barker ripped a two-run single into left to take a 3-1 lead. Immediately following, Vaughn Deming hit an RBI-single to give Eastern a 4-1 lead. Nelson then grounded into a fielder’s choice giving the Eagles a 5-1 lead. Dylan Hawkes and Micah Del Rio were great on the mound in the win, combining for 11 strikeouts and only giving up five hits.
In game three, the Eagles took advantage of three errors in the first which let them take an early 2-0 lead. In the second an error followed by a double, two walks, a single and a fielder’s choice increased the lead to 5-0. In the top of the third Bright doubled home a run and Davis Kirby hit a sacrifice fly giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead. The Gila Monsters cut the lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth. The Eagles ended up winning a 7-6 nailbiter.
Aiden Taylor got the wind on the mound going 3.1 innings giving up three runs, two of which were earned, and striking out six. Owen Teuscher came on in relief going 3.2 innings, giving up three unearned runs, and recorded his first college save.
The fourth game against Eastern Arizona was another close one. The Eagles got going in the first with an RBI-double by Erickson and then an RBI-single by Nelson. The Gila Monsters brought one across in the first and another in the third to tie it up at two. With two outs in the fifth, Nelson tripled to right scoring Erickson and Deming giving USUE a 4-2 lead. A walk brought across a fifth run for the Eagles in the seventh giving the Eagles a 5-2 lead.
Westin Corless went all seven for the Eagles and kept the Gila Monsters lineup guessing all game. He struck out five and gave up two earned runs. At the plate, the Eagles were led by Deming with three hits and Nelson who had three RBIs.
The Eagles finished the road trip with a 4-4 record, which brings their season record to 4-8. Their next series is against Utah State Club with doubleheaders on Feb. 24 and 25, at home.