Hounds earn split with 11-inning win

CMI staff

LAWTON, Okla. — Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team has run into some tough pitching this weekend at Cameron.

Fortunately for the Greyhounds, junior right-hander Matthew Artalejo was equal to the task in the opener.

Artelejo threw an 11-inning, four-hit shutout and the Greyhounds finally scratched out a run on Ryan Forkel’s two-out RBI single for a 1-0 win in the opener of Saturday’s Lone Star Conference doubleheader.

In the second game, Cameron held on for a 4-3 victory over the Hounds. Both games were scheduled for seven innings.

ENMU senior Blake Cooper set a Lone Star Conference record in the opener with 23 putouts at first base, breaking the previous mark of 20 done three times, while sophomore shortstop Dylan Nault tied the school mark for assists in a game, done three other times, with nine.

The Hounds (15-12, 5-10 LSC), who lost 4-2 on Friday, will try for a split of the four-game series in today’s nine-inning noon (MDT) finale.

Artelejo (4-2) pitched around two hits in the second, then didn’t allow another hit until catcher Tyler Palmer’s one-out single in the seventh. Artelejo escaped, though, by getting pinch-hitter Dalton Hilliard to bounce into a 1-6-3 double play.

Designated hitter Harold Cannon hit a leadoff single in the 10th and moved to second on a sacrifice, but Artelejo got out of that with a groundout and a lineout.

Meantime, the Hounds got no hits through seven innings off senior right-hander Brian Schwabe. Reliever Justin Walker gave up the first two hits, singles by Nault and Sean Gahan, then Jacob Winters hit Matthew Burks with a two-out pitch to load the bases before getting Forkel to ground out to second.

In the 11th, Burks was hit by a pitch again from Josh Neilson (1-1) with one out. Forkel sent him to third with a single through the box, and Sam Hedrick sacrificed Forkel to second.

Copper followed with a hit to left field to drive in Burks, while Forkel was thrown out at home.

Artelejo retired the Aggies in order on three groundouts in the bottom half. He walked two and struck out four, throwing 121 pitches in the longest stint by an ENMU hurler in at least 15 years.

In the second game, shortstop Codey McElroy hit a pair of RBI singles and the Aggies (8-15, 3-10) built a 4-0 lead before starter Steve Matta (2-2) ran into trouble in the sixth.

Forkel led off with a single and Cooper and catcher Chad Highberger drew one-out walks to load the bases. Right fielder Rawley Gomez greeted reliever Ryan Daspin with an RBI single, and Nault followed with a two-run hit through the right side, making it 4-3 and sending Gomez to third.

Tobin Mateychick was summoned for the Aggies and got designated hitter Chris Sanders to bounce into a fielder’s choice, with Gomez out at the plate. He then retired Gahan on a popup to second.

Mateychick issued a walk and a hit batsman in the seventh before retiring Highberger on a fly ball to left to earn his second save.

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