Hounds edge Orediggers in home opener

ENMU pitcher Evan Corteau threw seven scoreless innings on Friday and got the win in the Greyhounds’ 3-2 victory over Colorado School of Mines at Greyhound Field. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

PORTALES — Evan Courteau had managed his pitch count well and had a shutout through seven innings Friday.

In just his second start of the season, though, he knew it would be tough to get a complete game.

Courteau was touched for two runs in the eighth by Colorado School of Mines, but relievers Evan Orsak and Tyler Doughty slammed the door and the Greyhounds held on for a 3-2 victory in their home opener at Greyhound Field.

Courteau (2-0), who allowed two unearned runs in a win at Sul Ross State last weekend, was victimized in the eighth by a misplayed double and a two-run bloop single by the Orediggers’ Mike Deal. Orsak got the final two outs of the inning, and Doughty earned his first save by stranding the tying run at third in the ninth.

“It’s early in the season,” Courteau said. “As much running as we do, we’re not in game shape yet, but that’ll get better as we go along.”

The Greyhounds (5-0) collected 13 hits off three Mines pitchers, but they stranded 11 runners. ENMU scratched out single runs in the first, second and fifth innings off starter Cris Rogers.

“We saw two kids better than anyone we saw last weekend,” ENMU coach Phil Clabaugh said, referring to Rogers and reliever Brad Koniz. “You can’t take anything away from them.

“We didn’t play very clean today, but this may the best team they’ve had.”

Second baseman Mike McDuffie went 3-for-3 for the Hounds, while left fielder Troy Vaughan and designated hitter Kelton Hayes each drove in a run and scored one.

Courteau was helped by double plays from his infield in each of the first two innings.

“The first couple of innings my curveball felt real good,” he said. “Then I got a little tired and went to my sinker, and they ‘rolled over’ on it a little bit.”

The Golden, Colo.-based Orediggers (0-1) were scheduled to host the four-game series, but it was moved because of still unplayable conditions up there. Veteran coach Mike Mulvaney said it was the first time his team has been outside this spring.

“They took advantage of their early opportunities,” Mulvaney said. “We didn’t have many opportunities for a while, but their guy (Courteau) pitched a heck of a game. He challenged batters, and that was the difference in the game.”