Bulldogs take series opener from Hounds

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Right fielder Edwin Mendoza went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs, leading Southwestern Oklahoma to an 8-5 victory over Eastern New Mexico University on Friday in the opener of a three-game Lone Star Conference baseball series.

Jeremy Guest (1-0) pitched six solid innings for the Bulldogs (13-4, 12-4 LSC), allowing three runs — two earned — on five hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. Christian Wise got the final two outs with two runners in scoring position for his first save of the season.

First baseman Mitch Wolfe went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for ENMU (1-10, 0-7), which lost its ninth in a row, while catcher Joe Huwer finished 2-for-3 with a walk.

Mendoza lined a two-out, two-run single to center off ENMU starter Andrew Martin (0-3) to cap a five-run Bulldogs second. Martin recovered to blank Southwestern until the sixth, when Mendoza and first baseman Nelson Espinal hit two-out RBI singles to make it 7-2.

ENMU scored twice in the seventh on Huwer’s RBI single to right and Wolfe’s sacrifice fly. Southwestern tacked on an unearned run in the eighth before the Hounds mounted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth.

With one out, Blake Thompson walked and Huwer and Wolfe followed with singles off Stephen Castiglione to load the bases.

A wild pitch scored Thomsen and pushed the other runners up before Wise moved in from shortstop to make his first mound appearance of the season. He got Russell Hartshorn swinging, then walked Chris Eaton to reload the bases before retiring Alex Schultz on a groundout to short.

Designated hitter James Cloud went 3-for-4 and catcher Hector Contin added two hits for the Bulldogs, who outhit the Hounds 13-9. ENMU sophomore left-hander Tyler Vance worked the final three innings in relief, allowing two hits.

The teams wrap up the series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader today.