ENMU bats come alive in twin bill

PNT staff

EDMOND, Okla. — After scoring just 23 runs on 63 hits during a 10-game losing streak, Eastern New Mexico University’s bats came to life again on Sunday.

The Greyhounds pounded out 15 hits — including two doubles and two homers by designated hitter Kelton Hayes — and broke the streak with an 18-10 rout of Central Oklahoma in the first half of a Lone Star Conference baseball crossover doubleheader. ENMU collected nine hits in the second game, but the Bronchos held on for a 9-7 victory to take three of four in the series.

ENMU (17-15), which begins South Division play with four games against Angelo State this weekend at Greyhound Field, finished 9-13 in crossover games against the North.

The Hounds, who hit 20 home runs in their first 14 games, homered four times in this series after going 14 consecutive games without a long ball.

ENMU got a three-run double from Tim Crafton, a two-run double from Derrick Kennedy and a two-run homer from Hayes in scoring eight times in the second innings of the opener. The Hounds carried an 18-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh before Central Oklahoma (17-11) made things a bit interesting with seven runs — five unearned after a two-out error by second baseman Micah Bernhardt.

Crafton drove in a fourth run for ENMU with a seventh-inning single, while Kennedy and Matt Hinojosa each knocked in three runs. Junior right-hander Evan Courteau (4-3) pitched six solid innings to gain the win.

Third baseman Brandon Bacon hit two solo homers and a two-run double for the Bronchos.

In the nightcap, senior right fielder Justin Gee hit his second grand slam of the season in the sixth to pull the Hounds to 9-7. Cameron Karner, the Bronchos’ third pitcher, then took over and set down five consecutive hitters for his second save of the season, both in this series.

Central broke on top 4-0 early against first-time starter Charlie Ward (5-1), scoring twice in the first and getting a two-run single from Derec Norman in the second.

ENMU pulled to 5-3 in the fifth on Gee’s RBI single, a run-scoring double by Hayes and an RBI triple by Kennedy. The Bronchos came back with four in the bottom half, highlighted by catcher Miguel Moctezuma’s two-run triple off Keith Balderaz.