PORTALES — No matter where the Southwestern Oklahoma Bulldogs are in the Lone Star Conference baseball standings, they’ve done nothing but give Eastern New Mexico University a lot of grief in recent years.
Southwestern came into Friday’s series opener against the Greyhounds having lost five in a row and 14 of 16, but they got two-hit pitching for seven innings from Travis Long (1-1) and pounded out 16 hits in an 8-4 win at Greyhound Field.
Southwestern has now beaten ENMU (17-18, 10-15 LSC) 10 times in a row, dating to the 2005 season. The teams continue their four-game series with a 4 p.m. doubleheader today.
Long, making only his second start and third appearance of the season, allowed only two unearned runs with one walk and four strikeouts. He came out after 123 pitches.
Southwestern (9-24, 7-21) took a 3-1 lead with three runs off ENMU junior Ismael Solis (3-4) in the second, then broke the game open with a four-run seventh featuring two-run singles by Dakota James and Dakota Streber for a 7-2 lead.
All nine batters in the Southwestern lineup hit safetly, led by catcher Daniel Castillo with a 3-for-4 performance in the No. 9 hole. Each of the Bulldogs’ hits was a single.
ENMU scored in the first when Clayton Young walked, Jonathon Marbury reached on an error, Freddy Carmona hit a fly ball that sent Young to third and the two runners then worked a double steal.
Kenny Hare and Castillo hit run-scoring singles and MooseWathen executed a squeeze bunt to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead in the second. The Hounds cut the lead in half in the third when Marbury singled and came around on two errors.
ENMU reached reliever Nathan Perez for five hits in the ninth, scoring on singles by Paden Vendrely and Derrick Kennedy. Right fielder Jeremy Johnson (2-for-4) was the only Hounds player with more than one hit.
Solis went 6 1/3 innings, giving up 12 hits and seven runs. Freshman Jonathon Wise went 2 2/3 innings.