Tarleton hammers Hounds twice

CNJ staff

PORTALES — If Tarleton State’s hitters were struggling coming into this weekend’s four-game Lone Star Conference series with Eastern New Mexico University, the Greyhounds have certainly provided a tonic.

The Texans carried a .230 team batting average into the series and had only two players above .300. But they’ve scored 40 runs and piled up 50 hits in the first three games, rolling through Saturday’s doubleheader 9-3 and 15-3 at Greyhound Field.

The teams wrap things up with a nine-inning contest at 1 p.m. today.

TSU (10-6, 3-0 LSC) had five innings of either three or four runs in the twin bill — both games were scheduled for seven innings. Meantime, the Texans’ pitching, which has been solid all spring, has limited ENMU (9-10, 0-3) to 10 runs on 23 with three complete-game outings.

Tarleton first baseman Garrett Hardey, batting .213 before the series, drove in seven runs on Saturday — three in the opener with a two-run double in the Texans’ four-run first and a fielder’s choice grounder in the sixth, and four in the second game in which he was 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and a run-scoring double.

Junior right-hander Pete Perez (3-1), who came into Saturday’s opener with an earned run average of 0.39 in 23 innings, saw that rise to 1.20 despite cruising to the victory. Both Perez and Buckmaster issued just one walk.

In the second game, junior left-hander Matt Buckmaster (3-1) got more than enough run support as the Texans collected five doubles, a triple and two homers among their 18 hits. Only one of the runs against Buckmaster was earned.

Already leading 4-0, Tarleton scored 11 runs from the fourth through sixth innings to turn the game into a rout.

For the Greyhounds, shortstop Alex Schultz was 3-for-5 in the doubleheader while designated hitter Mitch Wolfe finished 3-for 7.