Split drops Hounds to seventh in LSC

CNJ staff

EDMOND, Okla. — Senior catcher Freddy Carmona went 6-for-8 in the doubleheader, but it was his RBI groundout that drove in the go-ahead run as Eastern New Mexico University beat Central Oklahoma 5-1 Sunday in the second game to earn a split of their Lone Star Conference baseball twin bill and a split in the four-game series.

ENMU (25-24, 20-20 LSC) dropped from fifth to seventh in the tightly-bunched battle for positions for the upcoming LSC tournament. The top six teams makes the tournament.

The Hounds, though, are just one game behind fourth-place Southwestern Oklahoma (27-21, 21-19), which dropped three of four over the weekend to Tarleton State (23-25-1, 20-19-1).

ENMU has not made the league tourney since 1994.

Five teams are sandwiched within two games of each other from fourth-place Southwestern to eighth-place Central Oklahoma (24-26, 19-21). Three of the five will fill out the league tournament bracket behind co-leaders Cameron and Abilene Christian (both 28-12 in the LSC) and third-place Angelo State (27-13).

The Hounds play a non-league makeup at Wayland Baptist today, then host rival West Texas A&M in a four-game LSC set this weekend to finish the regular season.

Carmona went 4-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season in the seven-inning opener.

He belted a two-out shot in the first inning and capped a three-run third with a two-run single, making it 4-0. The Bronchos, though, scored in each of the next four innings, highlighted by a five-run fourth for a 7-4 lead.

Junior right-hander Russell Campbell (5-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings in the nightcap. Matthew Aragon threw two hitless innings to finish it off.

ENMU took the lead on a Paden Vendrely sacrifice fly in the top of the first, but the Bronchos tied it in the bottom half on first baseman Brent Hodge’s two-out RBI single.

It stayed that way until the fifth, when Clayton Young doubled down the left field line, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Carmona’s groundout.