Hounds nearly post double shutout wins

CNJ staff

ODESSA, Texas — Senior designated hitter Blake Cooper had five hits and curled a leadoff home run around the right field foul pole leading off a four-run ninth, and Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team completed a 4-0, 4-1 sweep of Texas-Permian Basin on Saturday.

ENMU (8-2) was within an out of a double shutout, but Falcons third baseman Trey Cochran hit his second home run of the year with two outs in the bottom of the inning off reliever Jorge Quezada. Both games were scheduled for seven innings, but the nightcap was scoreless until the ninth.

In the opener, senior right-hander Ben Monticello (3-0) tossed a five-hit shutout. Cooper went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead a nine-hit attack for the Greyhounds.

Matthew Burks led off the first game with a triple and scored on a Colton Sims groundout, and the Hounds made it 3-0 in the third against sophomore right-hander Jesse Arnold (1-3) on a walk to Sims, Sam Hedrick’s RBI triple and Cooper’s run-scoring single to center. ENMU took advantage of two UTPB errors to plate another run in the sixth.

Monticello needed just 70 pitches in the game, walking one and striking out two.

Both ENMU’s Matthew Artalejo (2-0) and UTPB’s Lance Fairchild were tough in the second game. Artalejo allowed just two hits and struck out four through eight innings, while Fairchild gave up three hits with four strikeouts through seven.

Cooper homered off reliever Kyle Romstadt to lead off the ninth, and a walk and singles by Chad Highberger and Ryan Forkel made it 2-0. Brad Paramapoonva replaced Romstadt, and gave up a sacrifice fly to Burks and an RBI single for Sims.

The Hounds have another doubleheader on tap today, taking on University of the Southwest in a pair of sevens scheduled to begin at noon in Hobbs.