Freedom New Mexico
PLAINVIEW, Texas — Coming off a four-game Lone Star Conference weekend series against Central Oklahoma, the Eastern New Mexico University baseball team had a quick turnaround Monday against Wayland Baptist.
The Pioneers, ranked 11th in the NAIA, got two home runs each from second baseman Brett Cook and shortstop Vinny Blancamano and rolled to a 20-4 victory over the Greyhounds.
On Sunday at Greyhound Field, ENMU salvaged its series finale with Central Oklahoma, pounding out a 17-12 victory over the Bronchos.
ENMU did not use any of its regular pitchers in Monday’s game. Instead, third baseman Derrick Kennedy started on the mound and took the loss, with catcher/designated hitters Paden Vendrely and Freddy Carmona working in relief.
None had been used on the mound this season.
Cook went 4-for-4 and was hit by a pitch from the leadoff position while Biancamano, batting third, was 3-for-3 with a walk. They combined to score six runs and drive in nine, and Sheppard was also credited with a steal of home.
ENMU (22-26, 15-21 LSC) scored in the first on Clayton Young’s RBI single, in the third on Carmona’s sacrifice fly and in the fifth on a two-run homer by right fielder Ethan Wagner. The game was called after 6 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.
In Sunday’s game, the Hounds overcame a two-home run, eight-RBI performance from Central Oklahoma’s Tyler Carroll, who hit a three-run homer in the third, a two-run single in the fourth, a two-run homer in the sixth and an RBI single in the ninth.
The teams combined for 37 hits, 20 by the Hounds. Everyone hit safely in the ENMU lineup, with seven players collecting two or more hits, and all had at least one run scored and one RBI.
ENMU led 6-0 after two innings, saw the Bronchos (32-19, 23-16) pull to 7-6 in the fourth, then pulled away with five in the bottom of the inning, capped by Wagner’s two-run single.
The Hounds tallied in each of the first seven innings and carried a 17-9 lead into the ninth. The Bronchos plated three runs off reliever Keith Balderaz, but left fielder Clayton Young made an over-the-shoulder catch of Michael Pollack’s long drive with the bases loaded to end it.
Junior right-hander Thomas Green (5-3) worked seven innings for the win. LSC co-hitter of the week Tyler Hayes went 4-for-6 for the Hounds, while Sean Cruce and Young were both 3-for-5 and Kennedy and Vendrely each belted a home run