RiverHawks top ENMU twice by run

Freedom New Mexico

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team saw leads of five runs in the first game and four in the second get away on Friday and the Greyhounds suffered damaging 8-7 and 7-6 Lone Star Conference baseball losses to Northeastern State.

ENMU (21-24, 19-19 LSC) started the day in a three-way battle for the final two spots in the upcoming LSC tournament with Texas A&M-Kingsville and Tarleton State. The Greyhounds and RiverHawks (19-27, 16-22) complete their series with a noon (MDT) twin bill today.

In the seven-inning opener, the Hounds led 5-0 after taking advantage of three RiverHawks errors in a four-run second. But designated hitter Noah Ringenberger’s two-run single keyed a four-run fourth and Northeastern took a 7-6 lead with a three-run fifth.

Center fielder Eric McKinney’s leadoff homer made it 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth. ENMU pulled to within a run in the seventh on Garrett Cook’s two-out RBI single to left, then Luis Quinones followed with another single to left but Angel Hernandez threw out Ryan Pruitt at the plate with the potential tying run.

In the nine-inning nightcap, sacrifice flies by Mitch Wolfe in the second and Jereme Johnson in the third and Wolfe’s one-out homer in the fourth staked ENMU to a 3-0 lead. The Hounds then went in front 6-3 with three runs in the fifth, taking advantage of two throwing errors and Sean Cruce’s run-scoring groundout.

The RiverHawks responded with four in the bottom of the fifth, getting a two-run homer from catcher Chris Speck and a two-run single from Hernandez. They scored what proved to be the winning run in the seventh on a bases-loaded RBI fielder’s choice by Hernandez.

ENMU got singles from Cruce and Ethan Wagner in tehe ninth, but reliever Frank Sprick earned his second save of the day and fourth of the season by getting Paden Vendrely on strikes to end it.