Highlands crushes ENMU twice

LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University and New Mexico Highlands were originally supposed to play a four-game, season-opening series, but Friday’s twin bill was canceled due to weather problems.

After losing 16-0 and 21-3 in Saturday’s double dip, it was probably all the same to the Greyhounds.

Highlands pounded out 38 hits in the two games and had a double-figure scoring frame in each contest. Meantime, ENMU managed only five hits in the opener and scored off just one of the eight pitchers used in the two games by the Cowboys.

Right fielder Danny Brown hit a pair of two-run homers in the Cowboys’ 11-run fifth in the seven-inning opener, breaking open a 2-0 game. ENMU starter Justin Cotten was relatively effective through four innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven, but the bullpen fell apart.

Brown finished 3-for-4 while catcher Phillip Rodriguez drove in three runs with a pair of hits. First baseman Jason Carr also hit a solo homer for the Cowboys in the fifth.

Starter Drew Vassil went six innings for the win, allowing four hits and striking out four. Daniel Doby allowed a hit and a walk in the seventh — the only free pass given to the Hounds in the doubleheader.

Catcher Ryan Pruitt singled twice in three at-bats for ENMU.

In the nightcap, Highlands scored four times in the second, then opened a 15-1 lead by chasing starter Russell Campbell with a 10-run fourth that included nine hits.

ENMU got on the board in the third when Jereme Johnson tripled down the right field line leading off and scored on a groundout by Sean Cruce. They made it 16-3 in the fifth on a single by Luis Quinones, a double by Cruce and a two-run single to left by shortstop Garrett Cook.

Highlands added four in the bottom of the sixth and got a two-run single from backup second baseman Justin Kald in the seventh.

David Saiz got the win despite giving up nine hits and three runs in five innings. Three Cowboys relievers finished, allowing two hits and striking out four over the final four innings.

ENMU opens Lone Star Conference play with a four-game series against Southeastern Oklahoma next weekend at Greyhound Field. The teams are scheduled for doubleheaders at 2 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.