Hounds salvage finale against Javs

CNJ staff

PORTALES — If nothing else, the Eastern New Mexico University baseball team went out on a winning note Saturday at Greyhound Field.

Mired in a 10-game losing streak after dropping the opener of Saturday’s season-ending Lone Star Conference South Division doubleheader to Texas A&M-Kingsville, the Greyhounds erased an early 4-0 deficit in the seven-inning nightcap and scratched out the winning run in the bottom of the seventh without hitting a ball out of the infield for a 6-5 victory.

Kingsville took the opener 8-5, scoring six times in the top of the fourth, and won three of four in the series.

The Javelinas (27-27, 10-10 South) scored an unearned run off closer Keith Balderaz on Cy Williams’ two-out RBI single to center in the top of the seventh, making it 5-5. ENMU (20-34, 5-13) responded after Jonathon Marbury reached on an error and Matt Chavez beat out an infield hit to open the bottom half against Jeremy Heatley (2-3).

Another error, Kingsville’s fourth of the game, loaded the bases. One out later, third baseman Derrick Kennedy beat out a potential double-play grounder as Marbury scored the winning run.

Kingsville manufactured two runs in the top of the first, then made it 4-0 an inning later on Chase Myrick’s two-run single.

ENMU chipped away in the third with run-scoring singles from Clayton Young and Sean Cruce, and tied it in a two-run fourth when Marbury was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Chavez drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder. In the fifth, Young led off with a single, moved to third on a sacrifice and a groundout and scored on starter Josh Livingston’s wild pitch.

Troy Vaughan pitched three scoreless innings in relief of starter Justin Sergeant to set up a save for Balderaz, but in the seventh a one-out throwing error by Kennedy on Chase Bockholt’s grounder opened the door. Bockholt advanced to second on a foul-out to right and scored on Williams’ single.

In the opener, the Hounds carried a 2-1 lead into the fourth when the Javs erupted against right-hander Evan Courteau (4-9). Kingsville twice worked double steals with the back-end runner stealing home.

Kingsville’s Mario Gonzalez (3-7) went seven innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, three earned. Heatley pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

ENMU’s nine hits included a 3-for-4 performance by designated hitter Kelton Hayes, who delivered a pair of run-scoring singles.