Eastern New Mexico University's bats were held in check in the final three games of a Lone Star Conference series last weekend at Abilene Chrsitian, all resulting in losses.
Tuesday, the Greyhounds managed only five hits against Wayland Baptist, but were able to take advantage of most of the scoring opporunities provided by five five hit batsmen — three of whom scored — and five walks in a 6-4 win over the Pioneers at Greyhound Field.
The hit total was the third-lowest of the season for the Hounds (18-13), behind only four-hit outings at Tarleton State and ACU. Senior first baseman Daniel Binz went 2-for-3 for ENMU, which is averaging more than seven runs and batting an LSC-leading .351 as a team, while senior left fielder Luis Quinones drove in a pair of runs with a second-inning sacrifice fly and a fourth-inning double.
The Pioneers (13-22), with only two seniors on their roster, managed nine hits, but five ENMU pitchers combined to issue just one walk as the Hounds improved to 14-1 at home this season.
Freshman right-hander Alberto Blanco (1-0), making his first start after seven relief appearances, allowed four hits and two runs over five innings for the win. Four pitchers finished with an inning each, with senior Ryan Pruitt working a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.
Down 1-0, the Hounds loaded the bases with no outs in the first, but sophomore right-hander Chris Cook (0-5) escaped by getting a pop-up and a double play.
He wasn't as fortunate in the second after two hit batsmen and a single by Andres Enriquez again loaded the bases with no one out. Shortstop Brett Ackerman hit an RBI fielder's choice, Quinones added his sac fly and a third run scored on a throwing error by freshman shortstop Gene Veneklasen.
ENMU made it 5-1 in the fourth on Quinones' double and a sac fly by catcher Peter Creamer.
Wayland got one back in the fifth on Veneklasen's RBI fielder's choice, but a two-out RBI single by Binz restored ENMU's four-run lead in the bottom of the seventh.
The Pioneers cut the margin in half in the eighth when Gabriel De La Cruz hit an RBI single and scored on Josh Chinni's two-out triple to right field.