ENMU pitcher Seth Clabaugh throws from the mound during the first game of Friday’s doubleheader. (CNJ staff photo: Jesse Wolfersberger)
Eastern New Mexico University baseball coach Phil Clabaugh got reasonably good pitching performances from left-handers Seth Clabaugh and David Swinconos on Friday.
What he didn’t like what his team’s overall approach in 9-3 and 9-1 Lone Star Conference South Division losses to seventh-ranked Abilene Christian at Greyhound Field.
ENMU (22-28, 4-10 South) managed only six hits in each game, and despite that stranded 18 runners in the opener. The Wildcats (36-11, 10-4) maintained a share of the division lead with Angelo State, which swept Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday.
“I’m really disappointed with how we approached the games,” the elder Clabaugh said. “The fact that we had two guys throw that way against the seventh-ranked team in the country … you’ve got to score some stinking runs if you’re going to beat them.”
Abilene Christian never scored more than two runs in an inning until the seventh in the seven-inning finale, when it plated three runs. The Wildcats scored in all but two innings in both games.
Designated hitter Joel Wells hit his LSC-leading 15th and 16th homers in the opener, but the other 13 Abilene Christian hits were all singles.
“Joel kind of picked us up and got us ahead early,” Wildcats coach Britt Bonneau said.
Clabaugh (0-5) went seven innings, allowing nine hits and five earned runs.
“I tip my hat to Seth,” Wildcats coach Brett Bonneau said. “He did a good job of moving the ball in and out. Fortunately, we got some big hits and our bullpen came in an got us out of some jams.”
All three Hounds runs in the opener were unearned and actually scored on errors.
ENMU’s only run in the nightcap came on a two-out RBI triple by Mike McDuffie in the bottom of the sixth.
The teams complete the series with a noon twin bill today in the Hounds’ home finale. ENMU will start right-handers Kelly Crain (5-5) and Evan Courteau (6-4), who have been their most consistent starters this season.
Still, the Hounds will need to find some offense, Phil Clabaugh said.
“It won’t matter how well they throw,” he said, “if we don’t swing the bats any better.”