Hounds rally late to salvage series finale

CNJ staff

ADA, Okla. — Looking like it might be on its way to getting swept in the series, Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team erupted for 15 runs over the final four innings on Saturday to beat East Central 17-7 and salvage the finale of the three-game Lone Star Confernce set.

The Tigers won the first game of the twin bill 9-7, clinching the series victory.

ENMU coach Phil Clabaugh announced Saturday that the Hounds would travel from Ada to Edmond, Okla., on Saturday night and play 25th-ranked St. Cloud (Minn.) in a noon (MDT) single game today at Central Oklahoma’s Wendell Simmons Field.

The Huskies have a 10-2 record, but have been unable to play since March 13 because of inclement weather in the upper Midwest.

It was a weird end to the series, to say the least. Despite losing badly, East Central had five double plays and the teams combined for 26 hits — only one for extra bases.

The most unusual play, though, occurred in the top of the sixth when the Hounds scored five runs to take a 7-4 lead — the last three coming on a wild pitch which got away from catcher Mac Grace and somehow emptied the bases.

ENMU freshman Aaron Anderson (2-0) went six innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs — four earned. He pickup up the win when the Greyhounds (5-19, 4-14 LSC) scored five runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by Luis Quinones’ two-run single, for a 12-7 lead.

Catcher Dillon Downs went 3-for-6 for ENMU, including the only extra base hit, a double. First baseman Mitch Wolfe and shortstop Alex Schultz each had two hits and three RBIs, and three others had two hits apiece.

In the opener, first baseman Chris Montgomery drove in three runs with a two-run triple and a bases-loaded walk and the Tigers (9-21, 5-16) pulled out a seesaw win.

ENMU took a 2-1 lead in the third on a run-scoring single by Quinones and an RBI double by Joe Huwer, but Montgomery’s triple highlighted a three-run third for ECU. Kevin Thompson’s two-run double and a sacrifice fly by Quinones put the Hounds back in front in the fourth, and they took a 6-5 lead in the fifth when Huwer led off with a single and scored on a double by Wolfe.

The Tigers then chased Anthony Smith (1-6) with a four-run fifth.

Reliever Jeremy Custer (3-4) gave up Wolfe’s second RBI double in the sixth, but made the lead stand up by retiring the final four Hounds in order.

Both teams finished with 13 hits. Wolfe went 3-for-4 for the Hounds, while Quinones, Huwer, Brandon Davies and Thompson all had a pair of hits.