Eastern New Mexico University's baseball team made a strong bid on Sunday for a season-ending Lone Star Conference series win over rival West Texas A&M at Greyhound Field.
After sweeping a doubleheader from the Buffaloes on Saturday, the Greyhounds pulled to 5-4 when junior third baseman Andres Enriquez blasted his first homer of the season, a leadoff shot in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Singles by Colton Sims and Brett Ackerman and a wild pitch by WT's Scott Cone put the go-ahead runs in scoring position with no one out. But Cone escaped by getting a strikeout and two groundouts, and closer Carlos Maese worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save to give the Buffs a 6-4 win and a series split.
WT (29-19, 15-13 LSC) finished in a tie for third with Angelo State and faces the Rams in Friday's opening round of the six-team LSC tourney, which the Buffs will host at Canyon, Texas. Meantime, the Hounds (21-27, 8-20) ended up seventh in the eight-team league.
Senior right-hander Jas Shergill (2-6) threw 132 pitches over 8 1/3 innings for ENMU, allowing seven hits and six runs (five earned) with five walks and four strikeouts. Buffs catcher Patrick Ramirez hit an RBI single off reliever Brian Kennedy for the final margin.
Paul Pulley (4-3) allowed just two hits over five innings for the win, with four WT relievers finishing up.
The Buffs scored two runs in each of the first two innings before ENMU got on the board in the bottom of the second when Derek Crenshaw was hit by a pitch and came all the way around on a double by Enriquez.
WT got that run back in the third when Justin Henderson led off with a walk, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a two-out wild pitch by Shergill.
ENMU pulled to 5-3 when Luis Quinones drove in Brett Ackerman with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly and Sims hit a squeeze bunt single in the sixth to score Enriquez, who had reached on a fielder's choice.
Center fielder Tyler McKnight went 3-for-5 and scored twice from the leadoff position for WT, which outhit ENMU 9-8. Enriquez and Sims both finished 2-for-4 for the Hounds.