By Cory McKendrick, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
The Utah State University Eastern baseball team had its Scenic West Athletic conference opening game on Thursday, March 5 against the Colorado Northwestern Community College Spartans. USU Eastern won in eight innings of the nine-inning contest, forcing a run rule and a final score of 11-3.
The Eagles, who were riding a five-game win streak coming into the game, improved their streak to sic, their overall record to 10-7 and their conference record to 1-0. The offense has continued to roll for the Eagles as they have scored seven or more runs in each of the last seven wins.
The Spartans struck first with one run in the second inning. Then, sparked by a huge six-run third inning, USU Eastern gained the lead, never looked back, and continued to add on to the lead throughout the game.
The inning was led by a three-run homerun by Dylan Rodriguez. He was in a great spot to drive in runs for the Eagles and came through to break the 1-1 tie and give the team the lead. Rodriguez said, “I was just trying to hit the ball on a line somewhere and, fortunately, I got a pitch I could elevate.”
Rodriguez was 2-5 with a homerun and four RBIs in the game. Dylan Sanchez was 2-3 with a double, a run scored, an RBI and two walks. Dawsen Hall was 2-3 with three runs scored, two walks and four stolen bases. Ryder Peterson added three hits and two RBIs. Connor Udy chipped in a double and two RBIs as well.
The Eagle offense got off to a good start in conference. “I think today’s game showed how dangerous our lineup can be. It was a great team win” commented Rodriguez postgame.
Karter Pope went the distance on the hill for the Eagles. He threw a complete game, pitching eight innings, allowing three runs on right hits and striking out four Spartans in the victory. He improves to 3-1 on the year, winning his third consecutive start.