Freedom New Mexico
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Evidently, the Angelo State Rams don’t take kindly to blowing a seemingly insurmountable lead.
In the definition of a “wild” Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday, Eastern New Mexico University scored eight runs in the top of the seventh — the last four with two out — to tie the score, then added four runs in the eighth for a 14-10 first-game victory over the stunned Rams.
Angelo bounced back quickly in the nightcap, though, rolling to a 24-3 rout that left the teams with a split of the four-game series.
Saturday’s opener was scheduled for seven innings and the nightcap for nine, but when the first game needed extra innings the second became the shorter version.
It was just as well.
Trailing 10-2 in the opener, the Greyhounds (13-12, 11-9 LSC) sent 14 batters to the plate against six ASU pitchers in the top of the seventh. Still down 10-6, pinch-hitter Paden Vendrely struck out with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning.
Mitch Wolfe and Kevin Thompson then drew run-producing walks before freshman center fielder Luis Quinones tied the game with a two-run single to center.
In the eighth, Jereme Johnson led off with an opposite-field double down the left field line and scored on Ethan Wagner’s double off Bryce Bjorkland (0-1). Chris Eaton hit a run-scoring single and Quinones capped the rally with a two-out, two-run double to center field.
Wagner went 4-for-5 — his second four-hit game of the series — with a solo home run in the sixth. Quinones reached base all five times, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch and driving in four runs.
Anthony Smith (2-1), the reigning LSC South pitcher of the week, earned the win with two shutout innings in relief.
Angelo State (16-13, 10-10) broke open the finale with a 15-run third for a 19-0 lead. That made it an easy day for Rams pitcher Nicholas Cobler (2-1), who scattered nine hits en route to a complete-game win.
ASU sent 19 men to the plate in the third inning and collected 11 hits. The Rams also benefited from two ENMU errors, although only one of the runs was unearned.
ENMU broke through in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Wolfe and Quinones and a sacrifice fly by Garrett Cook.
Hounds starter Russell Campbell (1-4) didn’t get an out in the third, allowing seven runs on five hits with three walks and three hit batsmen.
Wagner again led the ENMU attack, going 3-for-4 to finish the series 12-for-17. Quinones completed a perfect day, going 2-for-2, while Eaton and Wolfe also had two hits apiece.