Freedom New Mexico
AMARILLO — In the end, Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team simply ran out of pitching.
A last-ditch bid to make the Lone Star Conference’s six-team postseason tournament ended early on Saturday as the Greyhounds were drubbed 28-11 and 12-2 by West Texas A&M in the season finales for both teams.
ENMU (22-29, 20-24 LSC) needed to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader and hope that Abilene Christian, the regular-season LSC champ, could sweep Tarleton State to give the Hounds the No. 6 spot on a tiebreaker. Tarleton, though, earned a split Saturday and took three of four from the Wildcats, clinching the playoff berth with a 7-4 win in Saturday’s opener.
The Buffaloes (23-20, 17-18) dominated both games in every aspect on Saturday to take three of four in the series. They piled up 39 hits in the twin bill, including three home runs, and turned an astounding eight double plays — five in the second game.
In the seven-inning opener, WT put up 25 hits, with center fielder Tyson Hickman going 5-for-5 and shortstop Adam DeLaGarza and first baseman Rob Mann driving in six runs apiece.
The Hounds fell behind 5-0 after one inning, but took a brief 6-5 lead with a five-run third on RBI singles by Sean Cruce, Jereme Johnson, Ethan Wagner and Paden Vendrely and an RBI fielder’s choice by Mitch Wolfe. WT promptly answered with six runs in the bottom half and never relinquished the lead.
The Buffs then sent 16 men to the plate in a 12-run sixth highlighted by Mann’s grand slam. Earlier, Will Miller’s three-run homer capped WT’s five-run first off Russell Campbell.
ENMU collected 18 hits in the contest, including three each by Luis quinones,Johnson and Cook. Vendrely, meantime, hit a leadoff homer, his third, in the second.
In the second game, catcher Elliot Burrow drove in six runs with a first-inning grand slam and a two-run single in the fifth. WT led 6-0 after the first inning and added two each in the fifth, sixth and eighth to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Both ENMU runs came in the fifth on a single up the middle by Cruce. WT’s Darik Helder (3-1) worked six innings for the win, allowing five hits and striking out three.