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Rams Claim 46 Hits in 24-6, 12-4 Double-Header Sweep of Greyhounds

Box Score - Game #3 - ASU 24, ENMU 6
Box Score - Game #4 - ASU 12, ENMU 4

PORTALES, N.M. — Angelo State University pounded out 29 hits in the first game and added 17 hits in the second game, as the Rams swept a Lone Star Conference double-header from Eastern New Mexico University, 24-6 and 12-4, on Saturday, April 1 at Greyhound Field. ASU improved to 24-11 overall, 3-1 in the LSC South, while ENMU dropped to 19-19 overall, 1-3 in the LSC South.

The Rams got off to a quick start in the opener with a six-run first inning. Brad Hough and John Beal began the game with back-to-back singles, then scored on a triple by Ronnie Gaines. Clay Calfee added an RBI double later in the inning, which featured seven hits for ASU.

Beal singled and Gained doubled to open the second inning. Both runners scored when Nate Hemm provided another double. ENMU starter Jeff Roemer (Jr., RHP, Woodbury, MN/Rochester Community and Technical College) gave way to David Swinconos (Sr., LHP, Lubbock, TX/Frenship HS), but Bucky Strickland singled home Hemm and the Rams tacked on four runs in the third inning.

In the fourth, Hemm added an RBI single and Strickland produced an RBI double. Beal and Hemm scored on the two plays, as the Rams increased their lead to 15-0.

The Greyhounds tallied four runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Brian Green (Sr., C, Fountain Hills, AZ/Central Arizona College) singled to start the rally, then Casey Bigham (Fr., 1B/P, New Deal, TX/New Deal HS) reached base on an error. Ryan French (Sr., CF, Carlsbad, NM/Trinidad State JC) drove in Green with a single. Derrick Kennedy (So., 3B, San Antonio, TX/ Brackenridge HS) recorded an RBI single and Matt Hinojosa (Sr., SS, Baytown, TX/Laredo CC) drove in two runs with a single to right field.

ASU led 17-4 before the Hounds tacked on two runs in the seventh. The Rams finished the scoring with one run in the eighth and six runs in the ninth.

Hemm was 5 for 5 during the game, with five runs, five RBIs and a double. Strickland went 5 for 6, scored three times and recorded three RBIs. Gaines concluded the game 4 for 7 with two doubles and a triple, plus five runs and three RBIs. For Eastern, Kennedy led the way with three hits in five at bats, to go with two runs and an RBI. Hinojosa and Bigham were both 2 for 4.

Elliott Love threw the first seven innings to earn the win for ASU. He upped his record to 6-3. Roemer fell to 3-2 with the loss.

ASU produced a pair of runs in the first inning of the second game. Beal singled with one out and stole second. Gaines singled to drive in Beal, then moved to second on a stolen base and scored when Hemm hit into an error. Eastern equalized the score when Green hit a two-run single in the bottom of the second inning. Kelton Hayes (Jr., DH, Guthrie, OK/North Lake College) and Mike McDuffie (Jr., 3B, Albuquerque, NM/Sandia HS) scored on the play.

The Rams regained a two-run lead in the third stanza. Hough tripled to right center to start the inning. Beal followed with a home run to left field, giving ASU a 4-2 lead.

Eastern pulled within 4-3 in the bottom of the third, when Tim Crafton (Jr., OF, Farmington, NM/New Mexico Military Institute) doubled down the left field line to score Hinojosa with one out. Hayes struck out and McDuffie grounded out to end the threat.

ASU took charge of the game with eight runs in the fourth. Calfee blasted a home run to center field to start the onslaught. The inning featured seven hits, including doubles by Strickland and Derek Bockhorn, plus a throwing error and a wild pitch. When the inning ended, Angelo State held a 12-3 advantage. The Hounds scored the game’s final run in the seventh, when Stephen Lopez-Barela (Fr., SS/OF, Alamogordo, NM/Alamogordo HS) singled in Bigham with one out.

Reliever Kyle Gibson (1-2) threw the final five innings to earn the win for ASU. He struck out nine batters and allowed two walks. Evan Courteau (Jr., RHP, Minneapolis, MN/Rochester Community and Technical College), who started and threw into the fourth inning for ENMU, suffered the loss, as he fell to 5-4 on the season. Courteau gave up seven runs (six earned).

The Greyhounds lost the final three games of the series after winning the opener, 15-1. ASU took a 9-7 win in eight innings in the second game on March 31, before sweeping the second double-header.

ENMU will host New Mexico Highlands University on Tuesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. MDT. The Hounds also will be at home on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 for a four-game Lone Star Conference series against West Texas A&M University. First pitch on Friday is set for 4 p.m. MDT, with the action on Saturday set to begin at 3 p.m. MDT.