Freedom New Mexico
Senior third baseman Sean Cruce reached base all eight times up, including a game-winning single in the opener, and the Eastern New Mexico University baseball team swept a Lone Star Conference doubleheader from Tarleton State Friday at Greyhound Field.
The Hounds (7-5, 7-3 LSC), who came into Friday tied for third in the 12-team LSC, won the first game 3-2 and the second game 10-2.
Cruce, who drove in three runs in the nightcap, had four singles and four walks in the two games. ENMU (7-5, 7-3 LSC) hosts the Texans (5-9, 2-8) in a 1 p.m. twin bill today to close out the series.
Right-hander Doug McIntyre (1-1) pitched six strong innings in the nightcap, allowing seven hits, and the Hounds broke the game open with a seven-run sixth against Kenneth Stockton (1-1) and reliever Chris Pearson. Cruce and Mitch Wolfe each had two-run singles and Ethan Wagner hit a two-run double in the frame.
After the Texans scored on a squeeze bunt by designated hitter Mark Jeffrey in the top of the first, the Hounds tied it in the bottom half when Jereme Johnson scored on a throwing error.
ENMU took the lead in the second inning on Chris Eaton’s one-out double and an RBI single to center by left fielder Matt Nilo, and added another run in the fourth on Cruce’s RBI single through the right side.
In the first game, scheduled for seven innings, Tarleton forced extra innings when a two-out error by Nilo allowed the tying run to score against reliever Anthony Smith (1-1) in the top of the seventh. The Hounds won it in the ninth when Nilo led off with a walk, moved up on a sacrifice, and scored on Cruce’s opposite-field single to left.
Luis Quinones doubled, took third on Cruce’s sacrifice and scored on Garrett Cook’s sacrifice fly in the first. The Texans tied it in the second on catcher Andrew Kapple’s sacrifice fly, but ENMU moved back in front in the fourth when Paden Vendrely hit a one-out single, took second on a groundout and scored on Kevin Thompson’s RBI single up the middle.
Jerry Manning pitched the first five innings for the Hounds, allowing three hits and striking out two, while Smith gave up four hits over four innings. Nathan Lewis (1-2) took the loss in relief of starter Ryan Salt, who allowed five hits through seven innings.