Senior left-hander Jereme Johnson, getting his first collegiate mound start, worked 5 1/3 innings for the win and sophomore designated hitter Mitch Wolfe drove in six runs with homers in consecutive innings as Eastern New Mexico University outlasted Central Oklahoma 11-9 Friday night in Lone Star Conference baseball at Greyhound Field.
Johnson, making his second pitching appearance of the season, also batted third in the lineup and went 4-for-4 and was hit by a pitch as the Greyhounds (19-20, 17-16 LSC) bolstered their position in the tight middle of the conference pack.
Third baseman Kade Kauk went 4-for-4 for UCO (8-21, 11-22), which is in last place in the league and enduring a rare down season.
Johnson t hrew 96 pitches, 51 for strikes, and survived seven walks. He left after walking the bases loaded in the top of the sixth.
Juan Sanchez issued another walk, forcing in a run to makeit 6-4, but he got cleanup hitter Casey Bruns on a groundout to second to keep the Hounds in front.
Wolfe, meantime, followed a leadoff single by Kevin Thompson with his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth, extending a 4-3 ENMU lead. In the sixth, senior ight fielder Ethan Wagner hit a one-out RBI single to right off reliever Tyler Schuman to make it 7-4.
Thompson followed with a single to left to load the bses, and Wolfe then launched one over the left field fence to give the Hounds a seemingly comfortable 11-4 lead.
In the eighth, though, designated hitter Brady White hit a two-out, two-run double for the Bronchos. After a walk to Bruns, catcher Arrow Cunningham’s deep drive to right was dropped by Wagner for a two-base error, making it 11-8.
Trey Polston then got pinch-hitter Corey Hawk on a fielder’s choice grounder to Thompson at short.
Closer Anthony Smith gave up a one-out RBIinfield single to Ryan Schoonover in the ninth, but he came back to get Luke Yost and White on three-pitch strikeouts to end it.
The Hounds outhit the Bronchos 17-11, with Wagner and Wolfe each going 3-for-5. Garrett Cook, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and Thompson each added a pair of hits.
Schoonover and Cunningham were both 2-for-5 for the Bronchos, who drew 10 walks and had 11 hits but stranded 13 baserunners.
Wolfe’s two-homer game was the first for an ENMU player since Wagner did it twice last season — on March 7 at Tarleton State and on April 12 against East Central at Greyhound Field.
The teams are scheduled to play a pair of seven-inning contests today, starting at 2 p.m. They complete the series on Sunday with a nine-inning contest scheduled to start at 1 p.m