Hounds freshman Casey Bigham runs towards first base during the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. (Freedom Newspapers Photo: Eric Kluth)
Eastern New Mexico University’s bats remained silent again on Saturday.
In fact, the Greyhounds came dangerously close to getting shut out three times in their four-game series against Cameron, dropping the opener 5-2 and losing the nightcap 3-0 at Greyhound Field.
Aggies pitching baffled the Hounds (16-12) all weekend. The Hounds were held to 24 hits — all but three of them singles — and just five runs. ENMU, averaging more than 8 1/2 runs through its first 20 games, has scored only 19 runs in losing its last eight outings.
Only designated hitter Kelton Hayes’ two-out, two-run double to right-center in the bottom of the seventh off junior right-hander Art Gonzales (3-3) in the opener prevented Cameron (12-13) from notching a third complete-game whitewash in the series. Cameron beat Eastern 4-0 and 13-3 on Friday.
On the bright side, the Hounds got good pitching in both games. Junior Evan Courteau (3-3) went six innings in the first game, while junior Jeff Roemer (3-1) allowed two runs in four innings in game 2.
First baseman John Herbert delivered a two-run, opposite-field single to left in the first inning off Roemer in the nightcap. Right-hander L.J. Willis, who came in with a 6.00 earned run average, made it stand up with a six-hitter, setting down 10 of ENMU’s final 11 hitters.
Willis gave up first-inning singles to Ryan French and Seth Clabaugh, but a got a double-play grounder in between and escaped. The Hounds put two on with two out in the second, but Willis got Derrick Kennedy on a fly ball to right.
The Aggies picked up an insurance run off reliever Charlie Ward in the fifth when Blake Hughes hit a two-out single to left and scored on B.J. Cole’s double to left-center.
In the first game, Hughes’ two-out, two-run single staked the Aggies to a 5-0 lead in the fourth.
Gonzales cruised into the seventh with a four-hitter, but issued a leadoff walk. He got the next two hitters before Mike McDuffie punched a single into left-center. Both runners rode home on Hayes’ opposite-field double.