Gee ignites Hounds’ rally

By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Making just his second pitching appearance and first start, Eastern New Mexico junior Micah Bernhardt got off to an inauspicious start — he walked the first two hitters and plunked the next two.

New Mexico Highlands took advantage for a five-run first, but Bernhardt settled down over the next four innings and ENMU’s bats came alive with 16 hits in a 13-9 victory over the Cowboys on Tuesday night at Greyhound Field.

Catcher Tyler Brown went 4-for-5 while second baseman Bryan Moore, first baseman Mark Wallace and left fielder Gilbert Alvarado had three hits each for the Hounds (16-18).

Meantime, Justin Gee’s two-run, opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth started the Greyhounds’ spirited comeback. It was the second home run of the season for the former Clovis Wildcat.

Junior Kelly Crain (5-6), the third of four ENMU pitchers, picked up the win when the Hounds scored twice in the bottom of the seventh for a 10-9 lead. Brett Scherer’s sacrifice fly tied the score, and Wallace delivered a two-out single to center to plate Josh Kuchta with the go-ahead run.

Moore and Kuchta each hit run-scoring singles in the bottom of the eighth to help salt the game away.

First baseman Brendan Hampton drove in three runs with a pair of singles for the Cowboys (20-10), who were ranked 20th in NCAA Division II last week.