By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico
During an inning where his team looked like the Bad News Bears, Tarleton State baseball coach Trey Felan tried to keep things under control.
The Texans were cruising along with a 2-0 lead over Eastern New Mexico University on Sunday at Greyhound Field when, all of a sudden, they acted as if they’d never seen a baseball.
Second baseman Jason Holmes muffed a routine grounder by Mitch Wolfe. After a sacrifice moved Wolfe to second, third baseman Charlie Ulbricht booted Jonathon Marbury’s grounder, then tried to throw behind Wolfe and gunned the ball into right field.
Right fielder Greg Sillivent followed by overthrowing everyone, allowing Wolfe to score and Marbury to reach third.
Four errors, three on one play. Felan went to visit the mound.
“I just wanted to get Terp (pitcher Greg Terpenning) settled down,” he said. “And I wanted to calm our infielders down as well.”
Whatever he said, it worked. Terpenning retired the Greyhounds’ No. 2 and 3 hitters, leaving the tying run at third, and went on to pitch a six-hitter in an 8-2 victory.
The teams split the four-game Lone Star Conference series, something that also left Felan feeling pretty good.
“We hadn’t been playing very well,” he said, “but we played three solid games in this series.
“The thing I liked, too, was that after getting our butts kicked (in a 20-5 loss to the Hounds on Friday), we came back and played well.”
Terpenning (4-1) and ENMU starter Thomas Green (2-1) came in with high earned runs averages. With the Texans’ bullpen thin after the first three games, Felan asked his left-hander to go as far as he could and he ended up with a 121-pitch complete game.
Green, meantime, gave up two first-inning runs — one unearned — and departed after seven innings trailing 3-1.
“We’ve got to score to win,” ENMU coach Phil Clabaugh said after his team (12-8, 6-6 LSC) split its third consecutive conference series. “Tarleton came out today and did what they had to do.
“It’s just a shame that we’ve let some good pitching performances get away (in LSC play).”
Sullivent hit a two-out solo homer in the sixth and the Texans (11-13, 6-10) roughed up ENMU’s bullpen for five runs over the final two innings. Catcher Keith Peacock drove in three runs with a pair of singles for Tarleton, while leadoff man Heath Herron was 3-for-5 and scored three times.
Terpenning limited ENMU’s top five hitters to a 4-for-20 showing. He gave up a run in the eighth, but escaped major damage by getting catcher Freddy Carmona to ground into a run-scoring double play.