Hounds split with Riverhawks

Freedom New Mexico: Mickey Winfield Eastern New Mexico University senior catcher Freddy Carmona connects on a base hit early in the second game of a Greyhound baseball doubleheader against Northeastern State University Saturday.

Freedom New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team got off to a good start in Lone Star Conference play over the weekend. The Greyhounds fell short in their bid to make it a great start.

Northeastern State shortstop Blake Neighbors hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the top of the ninth and the RiverHawks pulled out the finale of the four-game series 10-7 on Saturday at Greyhound Field.

Still, the Greyhounds won three games in the series after rallying for a 10-5 win in the opener.

The Hounds (7-3, 3-1 LSC) came from behind in each of their wins in the series, and rallied back again in the finale. This time, though, they couldn’t hold off the RiverHawks (5-5, 1-3).

ENMU took a 7-6 lead with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the RiverHawks tied it in the eighth on Matt Smith’s RBI double to right-center.

In the ninth, Matt Huggard singled and went to third on a single by pinch-hitter Michael Houser, who advanced to second on the throw to third. Neighbors then singled through the left side to put the RiverHawks ahead 9-7.

Neighbors advanced to second on an error on the play and scored on Joel Eusebio’s double to left-center.

Adam Hibdon (2-0) got the win with 2 2/3 innings in relief of RiverHawks starter Shay Colburn. Jerry Manning (1-1), ENMU’s fifth pitcher, took the loss.

The RiverHawks finished with 18 hits in the game, led by catcher Chris Sprick and first baseman Taylor Clark with three apiece. Sprick gave Northeastern a 6-4 lead with a three-run homer in the sixth, while left fielder Eric McKinney also had a solo shot for the RiverHawks.

Right fielder Jeremy Johnson and third baseman Sean Cruce each went 2-for-4 for ENMU, which had 10 hits.

ENMU 10, Northeastern State 5, 1st game — The Hounds rallied for nine runs in their final two at-bats in the seven-inning opener, erasing a 5-1 deficit.

ENMU reached RiverHawks starter Jerad Ball (0-1) for five runs and six hits in the fifth. Paden Vendrely hit an RBI double and Freddy Carmona, Chris Eaton and Kevin Thompson all delivered run-scoring hits.

The Hounds then broke it open in the sixth with Vendrely hitting a two-run single, Clayton Young adding an RBI groundout and another run scoring on a wild pitch.

ENMU starter Matt Aragon pitched into and out of trouble early before wildness did him in. He gave up two hits in each of the first two innings, but benefitted from two double plays and a runner caught stealing.

In the fourth, though, he walked four batters, including designated hitter Brandon Espinal with the bases loaded. Brett Roberts followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 RiverHawks lead.

Eaton hit an RBI single in the ENMU fourth, but Northeastern chased Aragon with three runs in the fifth on only two hits, including an RBI single by Sprick.

Juan Sanchez (1-0) got two outs in the fifth and picked up the win, while junior Jared Wilson worked two perfect innings for his first save.

ENMU outhit the RiverHawks 14-6, led by Carmona with 3-for-3 and a walk and Eaton with 3-for-4. Cruce, Vendrely and Thompson each had two hits.