Eastern New Mexico University senior Brett Scherer made his mound debut for the Greyhounds two weeks ago at Sul Ross State, but that game was rained out after he pitched three scoreless innings.
On Saturday at Greyhound Field, Scherer took on a bigger challenge and passed it with flying colors.
The right-hander worked 5 2/3 innings of two-hit ball as ENMU earned a doubleheader split with Central Oklahoma by winning the nightcap 5-2.
UCO got three-run homers from Brandon Bacon and Chad McGaugh to take the opener 9-8.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Scherer, who split time between catcher and third base most of last season. “Everybody on the team helped me out pretty good, and Trevor (Davis) did a hell of a job closing.”
Davis earned his second save of the season by getting the final four outs. Right fielder Justin Gee had three of ENMU’s seven hits, while shortstop Josh Kuctha put the Hounds (4-2) in front for good with a two-run double in the third.
“Brett threw outstanding,” ENMU coach Phil Clabaugh said. “Had we not got in a little trouble in the sixth and kicked a few around, I was going to leave him in.
“They’re (Bronchos) a good squad and they play good. But we’ve got a pretty good squad, too.”
The teams play another twin bill at 1 p.m. today to complete their four-game series.
Scherer said he was just glad to help the Hounds break even.
“It was definitely huge,” he said of gaining the split. “Our offense had a great day; they executed well the entire day.”
In the opener, UCO (2-1) led 4-0, then fell behind 7-4 before rallying. ENMU starter Kelly Crain (1-2) took a line drive off his knee in the fifth and came out, and McGaugh greeted left-hander David Swinconos with his homer for a 9-7 lead.
“The first game was there for us to win,” Clabaugh said. “I thought we played well. The big negative against our pitchers was they walked too many guys (12 in the doubleheader).”
Central Oklahoma 9, ENMU 8
Central Oklahoma 312 030 0 — 9 12 2
ENMU 052 000 1 — 8 10 1
Jesse McGough, Ryan Kaney (3), Chad Ashley (6) and Doug Yarholar, Blake Deen (3); Kelly Crain, David Swinconos (5), Kellen Smith (7) and Brian Green. W — Kaney (1-0). L — Crain (1-2). Sv — Ashley (1). DP — Eastern New Mexico 3. LOB — Central Oklahoma 8, Eastern New Mexico 5. 2B — Central Oklahoma: Beau Sullivan. Eastern New Mexico: Ryan French. HR — Central Oklahoma: Brandon Bacon (1), Chad McGaugh (1). T — 2:20. A — 85.
ENMU 5, Central Oklahoma 2
Central Oklahoma 001 001 0 — 2 3 2
ENMU 002 201 x — 5 7 2
Cameron Karner, Matt Durrett (4), David Nixon (6), Chris Elam (6) and Deen. Brett Scherer, Trevor Davis (6) and Tyler Brown, Green (7). W — Scherer (1-0). L — Karner (0-1). Sv — Davis (1). LOB — Central Oklahoma 9, Eastern New Mexico 6. 2B — Central Oklahoma: Matt Yost. Eastern New Mexico: Josh Kuchta. T — 2:08. A — 125.