STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Junior shortstop Ryan Howard hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the eighth, lifting Tarleton State past Eastern New Mexico University 5-4 on Friday in the opener of their Lone Star Conference South Division baseball doubleheader.
The Texans won the second game 9-2 as catcher Keith Peacock homered twice and drove in six runs.
ENMU (21-25, 3-7 South) and Tarleton (15-29, 4-6) complete their series with an 11 a.m. twin bill today.
Greyhounds senior Kelly Crain carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth, but left with two on and two out. Charlie Ward (5-2) hit Roland Robles with a pitch to load the bases before Howard unloaded them with his team-leading 11th homer of the season.
Left-hander Jeremy Roberts (1-0) picked up the win with 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Brian Babbitt.
The Hounds took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on catcher Brian Green’s sacrifice fly, but Tarleton tied it in the bottom of the inning when right fielder Chris O’Bryan hit his first home run of the season.
ENMU chased Babbitt in a three-run seventh that featured a run-scoring single by Gilbert Alvarado and a two-run double by Green.
In the second game, the Texans pounded ENMU starter David Swinconos (0-5) for five runs in one-plus innings. Ward took over for him and pitched two innings, allowing four runs.
Peacock’s homers, only his second and third of the season, helped stake the Texans to a 9-1 lead through three innings.
Lefty Brandon Gowins (4-5) surrendered a run in the first on a triple by Gilbert Alvarado and a sacrifice fly by Green, but cruised to the win on a three-hitter with no walks and six strikeouts. He allowed Mike McDuffie’s team-leading eighth home run for the Hounds in the top of the seventh.