Needing to at least win their weekend Lone Star Conference series with Angelo State, and perhaps sweep it, to qualify for the LSC’s postseason tournament, EasternNew Mexico University’s chances seemed slim at best when the Greyhounds learned that 17 members of the squad had been arrested on Friday and were not in uniform after an on-campus altercation last weekend.
Their chances looked even worse when Angelo State opened a 6-1 lead against junior right-hander Matthew Artalejo in the second inning.
Artalejo, though, righted himself and followed up with eight shutout innings. Meantime, catcher Steven Moore’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth sent the game into extra innings, and designated hitter Dylan Nault’s two-out, bases-loaded single gave the Hounds a 7-6 win.
ENMU athletic director Jeff Geiser said all 17 players were bonded out on Friday and arrived at the ballpark late in the game. All were reinstated on Friday night pending further investigation and will be eligible to play in today’s 1 p.m. doubleheader, Geiser said.
ENMU (25-23, 14-19) moved into a fourth-place tie with the Rams (25-23, 14-19), but the Hounds must sweep today’s 1 p.m. twin bill or they would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with ASU. Meantime, either team can pass third-place Tarleton State (25-21, 15-17) with a sweep if the Texans, who beat league champion Texas A&M-Kingsville 8-3 on Friday, get swept by the Javelinas in today’s finale.
Artalejo (7-5) allowed five hits after the second inning. He was scheduled to start today’s opener, but moved up because the scheduled starter was unavailable.
The bottom of the ENMU lineup included two players — first baseman Austin Adams and left fielder Ryan Pecotte — who had not played this season. Each went 2-for-5 with an RBI double.
They batted seventh and eighth. The No. 9 spot was divided between Matthew Johnson (1-for-7 coming in) and Juan Gutierrez (who had not played), and both went 0-for-2.
Shortstop Brett Ackerman went 4-for-5 while Nault and designated hitter Sam Hedrick were both 3-for-5 for ENMU, which outhit the Rams 16-13.
Third baseman Christian Summers went 4-for-5 for ASU.