ENMU’s struggles continue

ENMU second baseman Mike McDuffie lunges to backhand a wide throw as Central Oklahoma’s Dean McIntyre slides into second with a stolen base in the first game of Saturday’s baseball doubleheader at Greyhound Field. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

CNJ staff

PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico University baseball team rallied to tie Central Oklahoma late in both games of Saturday’s Lone Star Conference crossover baseball doubleheader at Greyhound Field.

But the Bronchos responded in the next inning both times, posting 6-4 and 7-4 wins to extend the Greyhounds’ losing streak to 11 games. The second game went eight innings.

Junior right-hander Keith Balderaz (0-3) took the loss in both games, although the second game was not really of his own doing. A two-out error by ENMU shortstop Tyler Hayes allowed the two go-ahead runs to score in the eighth after the Hounds (10-16) forced extra innings by putting together a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh.

In the opener, ENMU pulled even 4-4 in the sixth on a two-out throwing error by Bronchos second baseman Tim Sullivan, allowing Jonathon Marbury to score from third base. But in the seventh, Michael Pollock hit a one-out double off Balderaz and catcher Breck Draper followed with his fifth homer of the season, a shot over the left-center field fence.

The Bronchos (16-6-1) scored three times in the top of the second in the opener, including a two-run double by Sullivan, but Troy Vaughan’s second home run of the season and a bases-loaded wild pitch pulled ENMU to 3-2 in the second. Then Kelton Hayes singled home Derrick Kennedy with two outs in the third to tie it.

Central Oklahoma scored in the fourth on consecutive two-out singles by Sullivan, Derec Norman and Bryce Columbus for a 4-3 lead.

In the second game, center fielder Ty Carroll dropped Hayes’ fly ball, putting two runners in scoring position with one out in the first. Clayton Young scored on Joe Noyes’ wild pitch, and Kennedy delivered Tyler Hayes with a sacrifice fly to center.

That held up until the fifth when sophomore right-hander Evan Orsak, making his first start of the season and second in his college career, gave up hits to the first five Bronchos hitters. Norman tied the score with a two-run double, then Bryce Columbus tripled to right center before Pollack singled home the fourth run.

ENMU pulled to 4-3 in the fifth when Kennedy’s double-play grounder scored Clayton Young from third. Then, with two out in the seventh, Tyler Hayes drew a walk and Kennedy and Mike McDuffie followed with singles to tie the score.