This archived article was written by: Micah IversonÂ
On the belt of life, one must recognize the quality of the holes one punches, not just the number of holes. You can punch as many as you want, but without time and good effort, the quality will be ragged and unfit to be seen. I know what you are saying; what does this have to do with Golden Eagle baseball?
At 7-32 (6-23 conference), one would think the Golden Eagles are mired in a bottomless pit eagerly awaiting the end of the season. But back to the belt analogy. Each Eastern Utah win has been like the proverbial well crafted hole, punched on the belt of life. The seven Eastern Utah wins have come ultimately through good pitching and well placed hits.
Three of the Eastern Utah wins came in the past two weeks against Dixie State, and Colorado Northwestern. Much like their previous wins, these three wins were all great outings for Eastern Utah’s pitchers.
Over the weekend of April 8-9, the Golden Eagles hosted defending NJCAA champions Dixie State Rebels for their last home games of the 2005 baseball season. Dixie came into the weekend series in second place in the SWAC. Golden Eagle pitcher Zach Dinkins came out firing, and like that of Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux in the major leagues, scattered five hits over six innings (recording nine groundouts) and gave way to Riley Gordon to close the door in the 3-0 shutout. Dinkins would pick up the much needed win with Gordon picking up the save. Brett Nigbur and Danny Cornia picked up all three RBI’s in the game for CEU.
With renewed confidence that they could compete and win against one of the nation’s elite, the Golden Eagles faltered in the final three games by a combined score of 32-9. In the weekend series, Eastern Utah committed three combined errors, improving upon what they have struggled on in previous games. Scores for the final three games were: 0-4, 8-16, 1-12.
On the road was where the Golden Eagles found themselves this past weekend, with yet another series against the perennial cellar dwellers of the SWAC, Colorado Northwestern Community College. After taking three of four from the Spartans in their first series in Price, the Golden Eagles came into this series with aspirations of sweeping the Spartans for their final match up of the year. Another strong outing by Dinkins sparked the Golden Eagles to win the opening game, 3-1. Dinkins went six solid innings, and much like the Dixie game the previous week, Gordon shut the Spartans out in the seventh to pick up his team leading fourth save.
The second game of Friday’s double-header would see CNCC score three runs in the first inning, with Eastern Utah struggling in the next six-plus innings to regain momentum. There were plenty opportunities for the Golden Eagles but they would eventually lose 2-3. The next day would be much like the first with Eastern Utah winning one, and losing one. The early game was a back-and-forth battle with Preston Hansen going five innings, giving up five runs. Eastern Utah came out of the contest with yet another one-run loss 7-8.
In the rubber game of the series, the Golden Eagles were mired in a two-two tie until late into the fifth inning when Eastern Utah scored five runs to put them up for good. Kollin Killian pitched 5 2/3 strong innings to keep the Golden Eagles close until the late offensive explosion. Gordon came in the last 1 1/3 innings to record the win, with Eastern Utah winning 7-2. Gordon finished the weekend series with a win and a save. The MVP of the series would prove to be Eastern Utah’s 3B Cornia, who went 5-5 with two doubles and two walks.
The Golden Eagles will be on the road once again this weekend as they travel to Salt Lake to take on the Bruins of Salt Lake Community College. SLCC is 19-13 in SWAC play (28-16 overall). Eastern Utah has beaten SLCC once this season and look to continue that trend. Games on Friday start at 4 pm, noon Saturday.