East Central routs Hounds in series opener

Freedom New Mexico

ADA, Okla. — East Central designated hitter Justin Gibson went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs from the leadoff position, and the Tigers overcame an early 2-0 deficit to rout Eastern New Mexico University 13-2 in Friday’s opener of a three-game Lone Star Conference baseball series.

The game was called after 6 1/2 innings on the 10-run rule. The teams square off in a noon (MDT) twin bill today.

ECU’s Will Grimes (3-2) allowed five hits over five innings for the win, including a two-run single by Daniel Patching in the second to stake the Greyhounds (5-17, 3-13) to the early lead.

The Tigers (8-20, 4-15) started each of the next five innings with a single, scoring in every one of the frames. They took a 5-2 lead with a four-run third keyed by second baseman Tyle Hankins’ two-run double, then sent 12 batters to the plate and erupted for six in the bottom of the fifth for a 12-2 cushion.

Gibson’s run-scoring single to center in the sixth completed the scoring.

Junior right-hander Corey Cole (1-4) took the loss, pitching three innings. Three ENMU hurlers combined give up 13 hits and issue 11 walks with just one strikeout, and the damage could have been worse except for four double plays by the Hounds.

Patching and designated hitter Joe Huwer each went 2-for-3 for the Hounds, who finished with seven hits.