Freedom New Mexico
ABILENE, Texas — Catcher Ryan Pruitt hit a game-tying RBI double, then scored on a single by Luis Quinones in the top of the seventh inning Friday and Eastern New Mexico University edged Abilene Christian 4-3 in the seven-inning opener of a four-game Lone Star Conference baseball series.
It was the 18th time over the past two seasons, including the sixth time this year, that the Greyhounds (14-12, 12-9 LSC), currently fouorth in the conference, have posted the game-winning run in their final at-bat.
ENMU’s late rally took starter Jerry Manning (5-0) off the hook and gave him the win. Manning allowed nine hits over six innings.
Right-hander Anthony Smith worked a perfect seventh inning for his sixth save.
The Wildcats (19-7, 11-6), ranked 11th in NCAA Division II, took a 3-2 lead on Aaron Oliver’s RBI single in the fourth, and that stood until the seventh.
The Hounds scored in the first off Cameron Aspaas (3-2) when Sean Cruce reached on a one-out error, took third on Garrett Cook’s double and came home on Ethan Wagner’s sacrifice fly to center field. ACU tied it on Cameron Bankston’s RBI single, and moved in front on Steve Camillucci’s sacrifice fly in the second.
The Hounds pulled even in the third when Cruce drove in Jereme Johnson with a groundout to short.
Pruitt went 2-for-3 for the Hounds, who were outhit 9-7. Oliver, shortstop William Uechl and Bankston all had two hits for the Wildcats.
The teams have adjusted their series in anticipation of a cold front in the area. Instead of a doubleheader today and a single contest on Sunday, the teams will play one game starting at 1 p.m. (MDT) today with a noon (MDT) twin bill on Sunday.