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Abilene Christian Defeats Greyhounds, 9-3 and 9-1
ENMU Strands School-Record 18 Runners in Game #1

Box Score - Game #1 - ACU 9, ENMU 3
Box Score - Game #2 - ACU 9, ENMU 1

PORTALES, N.M. — Abilene Christian University, ranked fourth in NCAA Division II, swept a double-header from Eastern New Mexico University, 9-3 and 9-1, on Friday, April 21 at Greyhound Field. With the win, ACU improved to 36-11 on the season, 10-4 in the LSC South. ENMU dropped to 22-28 overall, 4-10 in the LSC South.

In the opener, ENMU finished with a school-record 18 runners left on base, and the two teams combined to leave 31 runners on the base paths. The overall number of runners left on base tied for the eighth-most in NCAA Division II history, while Eastern’s team total was the sixth highest in NCAA Division II.

ACU took an early lead with two runs in the first inning. Johnny Zepeda walked with two outs and Joel Wells followed with a home run over the left field fence. Well, who also pounded out a leadoff homer in the fifth inning, completed the game with 16 homers on the season. He has hit exactly half of ACU’s team total of 32 homers this spring.

The Wildcats increased their lead to 3-0 with a run in the second inning. Danny Williams walked to open the stanza and eventually scored on a single by Trey Watten. ENMU cut the lead to 3-1, when Jeff Roemer (Jr., 1B/RHP, Minneapolis, MN/Rochester Community and Technical College) was hit by a pitch, moved to second following a walk, reached third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a fielding error.

Abilene Christian gradually added to the scoring margin, as the Wildcats plated single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, before taking an 8-1 lead with a pair of runs in the eighth. ENMU tallied two runs in the bottom of the inning, as a dropped fly ball and a fielding miscue allowed the runs to score. Derrick Kennedy (So., 3B, San Antonio, TX/G.W. Brackenridge HS) and Tim Crafton (Jr., OF, Farmington, NM/N.M. Military Institute) recorded the runs for Eastern.

The game’s final run was scored by ACU in the top of the ninth. The Wildcats ended the game with 13 hits, with three players earning three hits apiece. Zepeda was 3 for 5 with three runs and an RBI, Alec Sowards went 3 for 5 with a run scored and Watten was 3 for 6 with a run and an RBI. Wells was 2 of 6 for the Wildcats.

ENMU registered six hits during the game. Mike McDuffie (Jr., 2B, Albuquerque, NM/ Sandia HS) was the only Greyhound with more than one hit. He was 2 for 5 and had Eastern’s only extra-base hit, a double in the third inning.

Starting pitcher Brian Kennedy improved to 6-2 with the win for ACU. He struck out four batters, walked four batters and hit three batters in six innings. Seth Clabaugh (Fr., LHP, Portales, NM/Portales HS), who started for ENMU, threw seven innings, took the loss and fell to 0-5.

In the second game, ACU led 5-0 after three innings and held a 6-1 lead entering the final stanza. The Wildcats closed out the scoring by adding three runs in the seventh.

Watton reached base on an error to open the game. He moved to second on a passed ball, then scored when Minor Alexander singled up the middle. Alexander was caught stealing and Alec Sowards hit into a double play with runners at first and second later in the inning.

ACU’s next run scored on a double by Watten in the second inning. Alexander provided an RBI single during the inning for a 3-0 lead. In the third, Chris Walsh hit a sacrifice fly and Danny Williams singled through the right side to drive in another run.

After the Wildcats scored once in the sixth, ENMU pushed across its only run in the bottom of the inning. Crafton was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs. Crafton advance to second when Justin Gee (Sr., RF, Clovis, NM/Clovis HS) grounded into a 5-3 double play. McDuffie followed with a triple to bring Crafton home.

Abilene Christian outhit the Hounds 15-5 in the second game. Watten, Williams and Jordan Schmitt each went 3 for 4 at the plate. Schmitt pounded out two doubles, Watten hit one double and Ruben Rivera had one double. McDuffie’s run-scoring triple was Eastern’s only extra-base hit.

ACU starter Chris Wiman struck out eight of Eastern’s first nine batters. He did not add to his strikeout total over the next two innings, but left the game after five stanzas having allowed just four hits and one walk. He improved to 8-3. ENMU starter David Swinconos (Sr., LHP, Lubbock, TX/Frenship HS) threw all seven innings and fell to 0-6 on the season.

The Greyhounds will play ACU in two more games on Saturday, April 22. Eastern’s 11 seniors will be honored during a pregame ceremony at 11:45 a.m. MDT. First pitch in the opening game is set for 12 p.m. MDT.