By Loren Miller, USU Eastern Sports Information
After three losses, Utah State Eastern baseball took down the #9 College of Southern Nevada in game four of their home series on Saturday.
The Eagles lost to the Coyotes 4-3 in a great game one on Friday afternoon.
“Game one was a battle throughout. We struggled with some things, but managed to keep it close,” said USU Eastern head coach Scott Madsen.
Pitcher Karter Pope threw a five-hit complete game with four strikeouts in game one for the Eagles. Pope gave up the four runs CSN scored in the top of the second but outside of that was consistent for USU Eastern.
The Eagles battled back in the final innings of the game led by Ryan Curtis’ two RBIs. including a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth.
“The team battled back and really had chances to win against what I feel could be one of the top, if not the top, pitcher in the league. We were aggressive at the plate and really attached the ball in the zone,” said Madsen.
In game two, the Eagles fell 8-6 in a game that was interrupted by Mother Nature in the sixth inning. The Eagles and Coyotes were tied 6-6 on Friday afternoon before having to finish the game on Saturday morning before game three.
“I feel that if we could have finished on Friday, there was a good chance that we could have won game two,” said Madsen.
Before the game got delayed, the Eagles were on fire at the plate, hitting four home runs. Curtis, Hunter Lasko, and Dalton Virgil all hit home runs in game two on Friday. Virgil hit two home runs, including the game-tying blast over the wall in the bottom of the sixth.
“We saw some quality at bats that seemed to spread to everyone on the team. Dalton was extremely disciplined at the plate all weekend and was rewarded greatly. To see an entire team come alive was fun to watch,” said Madsen.
The Eagles gave up two runs in the top of the ninth, giving the Coyotes a 2-0 start to the series.
In game three, USU Eastern struggled and lost to CSN 13-0 in five innings. The Coyotes scored nine runs in the top of the second to put the Eagles in a huge hole early.
“I feel like losing game two and having a tough start to game three really took the wind out of our sails,” said Madsen.
The Eagles produced only one hit at the plate and gave up six errors in the field in game three.
After two straight losses, the Eagles met before game four to try and turn the corner and send CSN home with a loss.
“We had a meeting in right field where some players stepped up and got the team going,” said Madsen.
USU Eastern played much better in game four and defeated the Coyotes 7-4 in a dramatic comeback victory.
Trailing the Coyotes 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, TJ Bender would hit an RBI single to tie the game. With two outs Dylan Sanchez hit a walk-off three-run home run to snap the Eagles’ 10-game losing streak.
“These players deserve a great win like that. They have fought tough games all year and finally got one to go our way. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings,” said Madsen.
USU Eastern now sits at 4-28 overall and 3-21 in conference play. Saturday’s win was the first home win of the season for the Eagles.
The Eagles will now turn their attention to another power house baseball program next weekend as the College of Southern Idaho comes to Price. The four-game series against CSI will begin Friday at 1 p.m. at Carlson-Colosimo Field. Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at noon. All four games will be broadcast on the Scenic West Digital Network at scenicwestnetwork.com.