PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University's baseball team combined solid pitching with just enough offense on Saturday to end its 10-game losing streak in a big way.
ENMU shortstop Brett Ackerman can't quite come up with a smash into the hole by West Texas A&M's Tyler McKnight on a second-inning single in the opener of Saturday's Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader against West Texas A&M at Greyhound Field.
Sophomore Ryan Boydstun and senior Ryan Pruitt had quality starts, junior right-hander Kyle Kesmarki earned saves in both games and the Greyhounds handed rival West Texas A&M 4-2 and 6-3 Lone Star Conference losses in a pair of seven-inning contests at Greyhound Field.
While the Hounds (21-26, 8-19 LSC) were eliminated from contention for a conference tournament berth last week, the sweep dropped the Buffaloes (28-18, 14-12) into fifth place in the LSC standings. The teams will complete the four-game series — and the regular season — with a 1 p.m. nine-inning tilt today.
The Hounds, who had lost 16 of their past 18 games since standing 17-10 on March 28, reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2010 and also matched the school record for home wins in a season (17-9).
Senior designated hitter Peter Creamer went 4-for-6 in the twin bill while senior Brooke Brooks and juniors Colton Sims and Josh Cunningham all had three knocks for the Hounds, who outhit WT 22-14 for the two games.
The Buffs scored twice in the first of the opener, leaving the bases loaded, and added one in the second for a 3-0 lead, but Boydstun (2-3) blanked them from there until the sixth. Kesmarki pitched around a second-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth, then worked around two walks and an error to strand the bases loaded in the seventh and earn his third save of the season.
ENMU junior Jacob Rogers slides home safely with a fifth-inning run for the Greyhounds in the opener of Saturday's Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader against West Texas A&M at Greyhound Field.
The Hounds took the lead with four runs off Ryan Houston (4-3) in the bottom of the third, capped by shortstop Brett Ackerman's two-out, two-run single to right-center. ENMU picked up two insurance runs in the fifth on Sims' RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Creamer.
In the nightcap, WT manufactured the game's first run in the top of the third on a single, a stolen base, a sacrifice and Jarvis Smith's RBI groundout, but ENMU came right back with three in the bottom half — two on a single by Cunningham and another on a base hit by Matt Spradlin.
WT put together four consecutive two-out hits in the sixth to pull to 3-2, but Pruitt (6-4) got Mitch Tybroski to roll out to shortstop on his 84th and final pitch with the bases loaded. ENMU got the run back in the bottom half as Derek Crenshaw scored on reliever Scott Cone's two-out wild pitch.
Kesmarki walked No. 9 hitter Cody Wright to start the seventh, but got two fly balls and a lineout to end it.