By Dave Wagner
Trevor Davis had already thrown more than 100 pitches through eight innings, but he figured he had enough left to finish the job.
Davis wiggled out of a first-and-third, none-out jam in the top of the ninth and pitched Eastern New Mexico University past Texas A&M-Kingsville 4-3 in the first game of a Lone Star Conference South Division-opening doubleheader on Friday at Greyhound Field.
The Javelinas came back to take the second game 4-3. The teams split again on Saturday, with Kingsville rolling to a 10-3 victory before the Hounds held on for a 6-5 win in the nightcap.
ENMU coach Phil Clabaugh figured Davis (7-3) was the Hounds’ best option trying to finish out Friday’s tight opener.
“He’s our best,” Clabaugh said. “I know his pitch count was up there, but I felt like he still had a good fastball.
“Before the ninth, I asked him how he was and he said, ‘I think I’ve got three outs left in me.’”
Kingsville (23-12, 2-2 South) quickly put runners at the corners, though, when shortstop Justin Bills doubled and moved to third on a bunt single by center fielder Dustin Brooks. But Brooks was caught in a rundown on Davis’ third-to-first pickoff move, and first baseman Mark Wallace eventually gunned down Bills trying to score.
A walk to Jon Dean and a double steal put runners at second and third with one out, but Davis struck out Jeff Rosser before Wallace fielded Steve Echevarria’s bad-hop grounder near the line and beat him to the bag.
“I was drained,” said Davis, who threw 126 pitches and struck out eight while surviving 13 Kingsville hits. “When I got back to the dugout, I thought I was going to pass out.”
ENMU (15-18, 2-2) trailed 3-1 before Bryan Moore led off the sixth with a triple and scored when third baseman Andrew Sweet misplayed the relay. Wallace’s one-out double chased Kingsville starter Chris White in the seventh, and Micah Bernhardt and Josh Kuchta hit RBI singles off reliever Kyle A. Thompson (3-2).
In the seven-inning nightcap, Kingsville built a 6-0 lead through 5 1/2 innings before the Hounds rallied back, scoring three in the sixth and one in the seventh. Right-hander Raul Trujillo (4-1) threw 133 pitches in a complete-game effort, fanning out 13 batters against a team which had been striking out less than three times a game.
“He’s been battling some back problems,” Kingsville coach Russell Stockton said of Trujillo. “He had surgery before Christmas and it’s still not totally healed. It’s been a long process to get him back.”
Wallace, who pitched two innings in relief of starter David Swinconos (2-2) in the nightcap, went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in the second game and finished the day 5-for-7.
“I was really pleased with how our kids battled,” Clabaugh said. “They didn’t hit David that hard. In hindsight, I probably didn’t get Wallace in there soon enough.”
Kingsville 10-5, ENMU 3-6 (Saturday) — Second baseman Jeff Rosser homered and went 4-for-5 with three RBIs as the Javelinas won the opener. Kingsville chased starter Brett Scherer (2-4) with a six-run fourth, snapping a 1-1 tie.
In the seven-inning nightcap, the Hounds scored single runs in each of their six turns at-bat and held on as Davis relieved starter Kelly Crain (4-6) and earned his third save of the season. He got a game-ending 6-4-3 double play when Javs baserunner Adam Rondou was called for interference at second base on a ground ball by Dustin Brooks.
ENMU gained a split despite being outhit by Kingsville in all four games.
ENMU 4, Texas A&M-Kingsville 3
TAM-K 002 001 000 — 3 13 1
ENMU 010 001 20x — 4 9 2
Chris White, Kyle A. Thompson (7) and Steve Yaden; Trevor Davis and Brian Green. W — Davis (7-3). L — K.A. Thompson (3-2). DP — Texas A&M-Kingsville 1, Eastern New Mexico 2. LOB — Texas A&M-Kingsville 9, Eastern New Mexico 7. 2B — Texas A&M-Kingsville: Jon Dean, Jeff Rosser, Yaden, Justin Hills. Eastern New Mexico: Mark Wallace. 3B — Eastern New Mexico: Bryan Moore. T — 2:51. A — 70.
Texas A&M-Kingsville 6, ENMU 4
TAM-K 200 112 0 — 6 11 0
ENMU 000 003 1 — 4 8 1
Raul Trevino and Yaden; David Swinconos, Wallace (6) and Tyler Brown. W — Trevino (4-1). L — Swinconos (2-2). DP — Eastern New Mexico 1. LOB — Texas A&M-Kingsville 6, Eastern New Mexico 8. 2B — Texas A&M-Kingsville: Rosser. Eastern New Mexico: Brett Scherer. T — 2:23. A — 60.
Texas A&M-Kingsville 10, ENMU 3
TAM-K 100 602 100 —10 14 1
ENMU 100 010 100 — 3 11 6
Josh Livingston and Yaden, Spike Fogle (5); Scherer, Kellen Smith (4) and Tyler Brown. W — Livingston (4-1). L — Scherer (2-4). DP — Texas A&M-Kingsville 12, Eastern New Mexico 9. 2B — Texas A&M-Kingsville: Steve Echevarria, Taylor Richards, Andrew Sweet, Fogle 2. Eastern New Mexico: Bryan Moore. HR — Texas A&M-Kingsville: Rosser (2). T — 2:54. A — 55.
ENMU 6, Texas A&M-Kingsville 5
TAM-K 010 201 1 — 5 13 2
ENMU 111 111 x — 6 8 3
Jeff Peters, K.A. Thompson (5) and Yaden; Kelly Crain, Davis (7) and Green. W — Crain (4-6). L — Peters (5-2). DP — Texas A&M-Kingsville 1, Eastern New Mexico 2. LOB — Texas A&M-Kingsville 10, Eastern New Mexico 10. 2B — Texas A&M-Kingsville: Fogle, Sweet. Eastern New Mexico: Gilbert Alvarado. 3B — Texas A&M-Kingsville: Dean. T — 2:40. A — 75.