PORTALES — Except for two innings, Eastern New Mexico University was the dominant team in its four-game weekend series with New Mexico Highlands.
The Cowboys, though, scored nine of their 12 runs in the series in the first two innings in Sunday’s finale to salvage a 9-1 win at Greyhound Field.
Senior right-hander Greg Hansen (2-0) worked six shutout innings, allowing four hits with three strikeouts, and was the beneficiary of the early eruption by Highlands (3-4).
The Cowboys scored five runs after the first two hitters were retired in the opening frame, then chased senior right-hander Brett Humphries (0-2) with a four-run second.
Following two consecutive two-out infield hits, Joe Cervantes and Nick Gonzales hit run-scoring singles, Colby Wilmer belted a two-run triple to right-center and Justin Rodriguez added a run-scoring single to center for a 5-0 lead.
Matthew Chavez hit an RBI single in the second, with a second run scoring on an outfield error, and catcher Morgan McCasland followed with his second home run of the season.
Five ENMU relievers combined for 7 2/3 shutout innings, allowing four hits with five walks and seven strikeouts.
Meantime, ENMU (6-2) loaded the bases with no one out against Hansen in the bottom of the first on a single and two errors, but couldn’t score and never seriously threatened again until the ninth when junior Mark Foley had a one-out, pinch-hit single, took second on a wild pitch and third on a balk, and scored on senior left fielder Ryan Forkel’s single to center.
ENMU had outscored the Cowboys 33-3 in dominating the first three games of the series.
Next weekend, the Hounds hit the road for the first with doubleheaders on Saturday at Texas-Permian Basin and on Sunday at University of the Southwest.