So far, the start of the Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball season is looking a lot like last year’s.
First-year coach David Gomez and his team just hope it ends up a lot better.
The Greyhounds improved to 3-0 for the young season on Saturday with a 2-1, 13-3 sweep of Adams State at Greyhound Field. They’ll look for the series sweep in today’s noon finale.
Last season, the Hounds opened with a four-game sweep of the Grizzlies (1-4) en route to a 10-1 start. They couldn’t keep it going, though, once Lone Star Conference play began and finished the year 21-27.
So far, the Hounds have had pretty good defense and excellent pitching through three games. On Saturday, junior right-hander Matthew Artalejo worked six sharp innings in the seven-inning opener, and freshman righty Keigan Basso picked up the win when the Hounds ended the game on a first-pitch leadoff double by Sam Hedrick and a bloop RBI single to right by Ryan Forkel.
Meantime, junior left-hander Rusty Edwards earned the win in the second game, allowing five hits and two runs over four innings. Junior Jackson Gaskins was credited with a three-inning save, giving up two hits and one run while needing just 28 pitches to finish it out.
Adams State starter Andrew MacMahon, who threw seven shutout innings to beat Lubbock Christian in the Grizzlies’ season opener, allowed just five hits in Saturday’s first game. Meantime, Artelajo, who struck out seven and allowed five hits, and Basso retired the Grizzlies’ final 11 hitters.
ASU took the lead on a one-out homer to left-center by Chris Morley in the third inning. ENMU tied it in the fifth when Forkel led off with a single, took second on designated hitter Bryan Pinocci’s sacrifice bunt and scored on shortstop Brett Ackerman’s single to left center.
Forkel went 2-for-3, the only player on either side to collect more than one hit.
ENMU ended the nightcap on the 10-run rule after seven, scoring six times in the bottom of the sixth to break the contest open.
For the third consecutive game, Adams State scored first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Drew Wold and Morley, but the lead didn’t last long.
ENMU got one back in the bottom half on Ackerman’s RBI single up the middle, then starter J.D. Heredia (0-2) for three runs in the third as catcher Sam Moore hit a two-run triple to right-center and scored on first baseman Rafael Romo’s single.
Adams State then committed two errors leading to two unearned runs in the fourth for ENMU. The only hit of the inning was Hedrick’s run-scoring single to center.
In the sixth, the Hounds chased reliever Ben Nutsch before he could even get an out, scoring six runs on five hits. Hedrick and Romo both delivered two-run triples in the inning while Moore singled home a run and another scored on a wild pitch.
ENMU pounded out 12 hits, with Moore going 3-for-4 and Romo and Hedrick each adding a pair of hits. All three drove in three runs.