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Greyhounds Win 10-9 in Third Extra Inning to Gain Split of Double-Header against Southeastern Oklahoma
PORTALES, N.M. — Pinch-hitter Tim Crafton (Jr., OF, Farmington, NM/N.M. Military Institute) hit a single to left center with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Justin Gee (Sr., RF, Clovis, NM/Clovis HS) with the winning run, as Eastern New Mexico University defeated Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 10-9, in the second game of a double-header on Friday, Mar. 3 at Greyhound Field. In the first game of the twinbill in Lone Star Conference crossover play, SE Oklahoma won a pitcher's duel, 3-0, as Adam Bennett limited ENMU to just four hits.
ENMU moved to 14-4 on the season, including a 6-2 record in LSC crossover games. Southeastern Oklahoma ended the double-header with a 3-4 record, 1-3 in crossover games.
The nightcap lasted four hours, twenty-two minutes, including a 45-minute delay after two light poles went dark in the sixth inning. Ultimately, all of the lights were turned off, leaving both teams in near darkness until a major fuse was replaced. When play resumed, the Savages held a 6-5 lead with two outs and a runner on second.
SOSU added two more runs before ENMU got out of the inning. Facing an 8-5 deficit, the Greyhounds responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 9-8 lead. Matt Hinojosa (Sr., SS, Baytown, TX/Laredo CC) doubled during the stanza, while Mike McDuffie (Jr., 2B, Albuquerque, NM/Sandia HS) hit a two-RBI single.
SE Oklahoma took advantage of two errors in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Both errors were by the normally reliable McDuffie, who misplayed a ball by Jared Johnson to open the inning. Jake Thompson pinch-ran for Johnson and advanced to second and third on back-to-back ground outs. McDuffie then made a solid stop on a difficult ball from David Newell, but threw high and wide of Jeff Roemer (Jr., 1B/P, Woodbury, MN/Rochester Community and Technical College) at first base, allowing Thompson to score the tying run.
ENMU closer Keith Balderaz (So., RHP, Monahans, TX/Monahans HS) missed a chance to tie the school record for saves in a season (8) after SOSU tied the game, but he remained on the mound for two more innings and allowed just two hits and no runs. Roemer went to the mound in the 10th inning and faced only three batters to preserve the tie.
In the bottom of the 10th, Gee walked on a full-count pitch. McDuffie followed with a sacrifice bunt, moving Gee to second. Crafton supplied the game-winning hit, getting his single to fall a few yards away from pulled-in center fielder Jeremy Barber.
Earlier, Barber prevented the Greyhounds from winning in the bottom of the seventh inning, after. Hinojosa and Ryan French (Sr., CF, Carlsbad, NM/Trinidad State JC) were both walked with one out. With two outs and the runners still at first and second, Derrick Kennedy (So., 3B, San Antonio, TX/G.W. Brackenridge HS) hit a long fly ball to left center, but Barber covered plenty of ground to get there in time to record the third out of the inning.
Bennett and ENMU pitcher Kelly Crain (Sr., RHP, Gordon, TX/Gordon HS) each threw a complete game in the opener. Bennett struck out nine batters and allowed four walks, while Crain registered seven strikeouts and gave up just one walk. Bennett threw 104 pitches and Crain threw 110.
SE Oklahoma scored all three runs with two outs in the fifth inning. Erik Hughes started the rally with a single to center field. Roland Fanning was hit by a pitch, then Chase Langley followed with an RBI double, scoring Hughes from second. Fanning and Hughes completed the three-run inning when they scored on a single by Colby Oller. The stanza ended when Oller was thrown out attempting to steal second base.
Four SOSU players recorded two hits apiece in the first game. Langley, Newell and Ridling were all 2 for 3 during the game, while Oller went 2 for 4. Roemer was the only Greyhound with more than one hit, as he went 2 for 3. Oller's double was the only extra-base hit by either team.
In the second game, designated hitter Kelton Hayes (Jr., Guthrie, OK/Northlake CC) went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for ENMU. McDuffie was 2 for 3 with two sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs. Gee recorded two hits and three runs in five at bats, while Kennedy was 2 for 5 with two runs. Hinojosa was 1 for 2 to go with three walks and two runs.
Mason Parham of SOSU was 5 for 5 with two runs and an RBI in the second game. Barber added a 4-for-6 performance with three runs and two RBIs.
Bennett improved to 2-1 on the season with the win in Game #1, while Crain dropped to 3-1. Roemer upped his record to 3-0 by winning Game #2 for ENMU. Jordan Semore, who threw 109 pitches for SOSU as a relief pitcher in the nightcap, fell to 1-1.
Eastern and SE Oklahoma will conclude the four-game series with another double-header on Saturday, Mar. 4. Game time for the first contest is set for 12 p.m. MST.
| Department of Athletics
ENMU Station 15
1500 S Ave. K
Portales, NM 88130
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