By Cory McKendrick, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
The Utah State University Eastern baseball team opened the 2020 campaign at the Manny Guerra Memorial tournament hosted by the College of Southern Nevada. The Eagles played the #17 Arizona Western College (AWC) Matadors. After some early offense from the Matadors, the deficit proved to be too much for USU Eastern and they lost 12-1.
The Eagles gave up consecutive big innings after minimizing damage in the first inning. Starting pitcher Connor Udy gave up a two-out solo homerun to an AWC hitter, but quickly got out of trouble by getting the next batter out.
The offense for USU Eastern got off to a slow start, putting up no runs on no hits in the first two innings. Skiler Hohrein (Spanish Fork, UT) was the source of the lone run for the Eagles. He doubled in the third inning to break the no-hit bid from the AWC pitcher. Ethan Udy then delivered a two-out single to plate Hohrein.
First year player Hohrein said of his first collegiate start and hit, “I had some nerves after the national anthem, but they went away soon after taking the field with my teammates. I was happy to see the ball I hit find grass in the outfield. It felt great to be able to contribute to the team.”
It was a game of firsts for the Eagles with four first-year players making their college debuts and head coach Kirk Haney coaching in his first game at the helm since inheriting the USU Eastern baseball program in July of 2019. “Despite the loss, there were a lot of great things seen on the field today against a very strong Arizona Western team,” Haney said. “Both the pitchers who threw in the game showed promise for future games and are in great shape to begin the year.”