Hounds rally to earn split with Highlands

Freedom New Mexico

Sophomore first baseman Mitch Wolfe went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, including a game-tying, two-run single in a six-run fourth, and five relievers each threw one scoreless inning as Eastern New Mexico University beat New Mexico Highlands 8-6 on Tuesday for a split of their baseball doubleheader at Greyhound Field.

The Greyhounds (9-7) made quite a turnaround after being outscored 47-5 in the three previous meetings with the Cowboys (10-2). Highlands won Tuesday’s opener 10-2 and swept a season-opening twin bill by scores of 16-0 and 21-3 in early February at Las Vegas, N.M.

Highlands came into Tuesday’s games averaging just over 15 runs a game, with 17 home runs and a team batting average of .430.

The Cowboys appeared on their way to a sweep, building a 5-0 lead in the third inning of the second game and extending it to 6-1 in the fourth on a run-scoring single to left field by David Bustillos.

The Hounds, though, countered with seven consecutive singles to chase starter Lawrence Lasenberry in the bottom of the inning. Wolfe’s hit scored Sean Cruce and Luis Quinones to make it 6-6.

After a sacrifice, Garrett Cook tallied the go-ahead run on Chris Eaton’s groundout.

Chris Martinez (1-0), Ricardo Martinez, Ryan Mitchell, Trey Polston and Anthony Smith combined to limit the Cowboys to three hits the rest of the way, with Smith earning his fourth save of the season.

The Hounds added an insurance run on a two-out Cowboys error in the bottom of the seventh.

ENMU banged out 14 hits, with Cruce, Cook and Randy Baca each getting a pair.

The Cowboys jumped on starter Mario Rodriguez (0-1) for four runs in the first and five in the third in the seven-inning opener. Catcher Phillip Rodriguez went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and left fielder Thomas DeAngelis was 3-for-4, including a two-run double in the third.

Senior right-hander Taylor Wichmann (1-0) went five innings for Highlands and allowed four hits, including freshman center fielder Luis Quinones’ first home run.

ENMU returns to Lone Star Conference play with doubleheaders against Texas A&M-Kingsville at 2 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at Greyhound Field.