Baseball preseason has come and gone which means it is time to start conference play. In what was expected to be a 16-game preseason the Utah State University Eastern Eagles finished 4-8, with their last four preseason games being canceled due to weather. Eastern opens conference play against 12-0 College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, this weekend. That is followed by what is supposed to be a home opener against Community Christian, but due to weather the series is likely to be switched to California. The Eagles will then stay on the road taking on Colorado Northwestern, followed by Salt Lake Community College, which ends four-straight weeks on the road. The first half of conference play ends with a home series against College of Southern Nevada. That makes the second half start at home against CSI, then USUE will be at home three more weeks bringing in CCC, SLCC, and CNCC. The last week of conference play will end in Las Vegas against CSN. The top four teams in the regular season standings make the conference tournament which is hosted by the conference regular season champion.
On the mound, the Eagles have used eight different starters on the mound in the preseason. Five out of the eight are likely to get many starts for the Eagles this season; those included are Tyler Fitch, Carson Hawkes, Ky Decker, Westin Corless and Dylan Hawkes. Decker has been incredible on the mound so far this year. He has pitched 10.2 innings, has struck out 12 and given up no earned runs. Carson Hawkes also has a 0.00 ERA in 10 innings. He has struck out 12 batters as well. Westin Corless is coming off a complete-game win against Eastern Arizona, where he gave up two runs. On the year, he has a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings. Dylan Hawkes is leading the team in strikeouts with 14 in eight innings pitched. He has started and come out of the bullpen this year. Micah Del Rio has also started and come out of the pen, he has a 3.48 ERA in 10.2 innings pitched.
At the plate, 19 different Eagles have gotten at bats this year. Only two have played in every game Davis Kirby and Tyler Nelson; they both led the team with 40 at bats this year. USU Eastern has two players batting over .300 for them, Luke Erickson who is hitting .353 and Vaughn Deming who is hitting .323. Erickson and Deming also lead the team in on base percentage with .542 and .475. Mack Bright and Deming lead the team with seven walks each and three doubles each. Kirby and Kaden Davis lead with one homer each. Davis also leads the team with nine RBI followed by Nelson who has seven.
The Eagles will take the field on Mar. 3-4 to take on the CSI Golden Eagles, in Twin Falls, Idaho.