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ENMU Sets School Record for Runs, Ties Record for Hits, in 33-14 Victory over WTAMU
Greyhounds Complete Double-Header Sweep with 11-8 Win in Second Game

Box Score - Game #1 - ENMU 33, WTAMU 14
Box Score - Game #2 - ENMU 11, WTAMU 8

PORTALES, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University set a school record for runs and tied the school record for hits, as the Greyhounds unleashed 29 hits in a 33-14 victory over arch rival West Texas A&M University, in the first game of a Lone Star Conference double-header, Friday, April 7 at Greyhound Field. ENMU scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in the second game to rally from an 8-7 deficit into an 11-8 win. Eastern improved to 21-20 overall and to 3-3 in the LSC South. West Texas fell to 18-20 on the season, 3-3 in the LSC South.

The opener featured a record-breaking performance by Derrick Kennedy (So., 3B, San Antonio, TX/G.W. Brackenridge HS), who set an ENMU record with six hits during the game. He was 6 for 6 with a sacrifice fly, two runs and four RBIs. He hit for three-quarters of the cycle, with four singles, a two-run homer in the second inning and an RBI triple in the third stanza. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games, but the streak ended in the second game, as he went 0 for 3, with a walk, a run and a sacrifice fly.

Eastern led 6-1 after one inning in the second game, but WTAMU scored in each of the first four innings, including three runs in the third stanza, to tie the game 6-6. Kelton Hayes (Jr., DH, Guthrie, OK/North Lake College) singled and scored for ENMU in the bottom of the fourth for a 7-6 lead. West Texas scored twice in the top of the sixth to move in front, 8-7.

Mike McDuffie (Jr., 2B, Albuquerque, NM/Sandia HS) opened the bottom of the sixth with a triple to right field, then scored on a wild pitch. McDuffie's hit ignited the Hounds' four-run outburst. Gilbert Alvarado (Sr., LF, Roswell, NM/New Mexico State University) drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single through the right side of the infield. Brian Green (Sr., C, Fountain Hills, AZ/Central Arizona College) and Casey Bigham (Fr., 1B, New Deal, TX/New Deal HS) scored on the play. Tim Crafton (Jr., CF, Farmington, NM/New Mexico Military Institute) completed the scoring with a single to left that brought home Kennedy for an 11-8 lead.

Keith Balderaz (So., RHP, Monahans, TX/Monahans HS), who entered the game with two outs in the sixth, faced just three batters in the top of the seventh to secure the win. He improved to 3-0 on the season, and lowered his team-leading earned run average to 2.25. Reliever Brandon Wright took the loss and fell to 3-2 for WTAMU.

Kelly Crain (Sr., RHP, Gordon, TX/Gordon HS) struck out four batters in 6 1/3 innings as the starter for ENMU in the first game. He gave up nine runs on 10 hits, but ENMU led 19-5 before the Buffaloes plated three runs in the seventh. Crain upped his record to 5-4, while WTAMU starter Ruben Batista dropped to 3-4.

Kennedy's two-run homer tied the game 2-2 in the second inning, but Brady Ribinskas blasted a three-run homer in the third inning, giving WTAMU a 5-2 lead. Eastern scored five times for a 7-5 advantage in the bottom of the stanza, with Jeff Roemer (Jr., 1B/RHP, Woodbury, MN/Rochester Community and Technical College) driving in three runs on a triple. WTAMU edged within a single run in the top of the fourth, but ENMU pulled away by scoring 10 times in its next at bat.

ENMU added two runs in the fifth for a 19-6 lead, then plated six runs in the seventh and eight runs in the eighth. Kennedy's 6-for-6 performance led eight Greyhounds with at least two hits. Green was 4 for 6 with three runs and five RBIs. Roemer went 3 for 5 with two runs, and a pair of RBIs, while McDuffie and Justin Gee (Sr., RF, Clovis, NM/Clovis HS) each earned two hits and scored four times. Gee also drove in three runs.

A.J. Knight was 4 for 5 with two runs, a triple and four RBIs for WTAMU in the opener. Tyler Glenn tacked on a 3-for-4 effort with four RBIs and Ribinskas was 3 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs.

The teams will complete the four-game series with another double-header at Greyhound Field. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. MDT.