Kingsville notches split with ENMU

CNJ staff

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Seth Clabaugh’s sacrifice fly capped a three-run seventh and Eastern New Mexico University rallied for a 4-3 Lone Star Conference South Division baseball victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday.

The Javelinas came back for a split, though, winning the second game 3-2 on a run-scoring wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th.

In the seven-inning opener, ENMU (12-12, 8-10 LSC) entered its final at-bat trailing 3-1 before mounting a comeback against Kingsville’s Ryan Torres (1-3), who had allowed only four hits to that point.

Sean Cruce led off with an infield hit and moved to second on Ryan Pruitt’s one-out single. Pinch-hitter Garrett Cook then delivered a run-scoring single to center.

Clayton Young greeted reliever Steven Hooker with a game-tying RBI double, and Chris Eaton was intentially walked before Clabaugh lined a ball to right field that the Javs’ Will Mettlach dropped, but was deep enough to score Cook.

Clabaugh pitched five-plus solid innings for the Greyhounds, allowing four hits and two runs. Evan Orsak (3-1) struggled with control in relief, hitting Mettlach with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run and then walking Brandon Rohr to force in another run for a 3-1 Javs lead.

ENMU’s Jerry Manning worked a perfect seventh to earn his third save. Eaton and Cruce both went 2-for-3 for the Hounds, who outhit Kingsville 8-4.

The nightcap turned into another pitcher’s duel, with ENMU’s Ismael Solis and Kingsville’s Sam Strickland each pitching into the eighth inning.

Kingsivlle jumped on top on Clifton Thomas’ RBI single in the third, but Clabaugh’s two-out, two-run double in the fifth put the Hounds in front. The Javelinas promptly tied it in the bottom half when Robert Cox hit a two-out double to send Thomas to third, and Thomas scored on a throwing error by Hounds right fielder Ethan Wagner.

Both starting pitchers were lifted with two on and two out in the eighth. Kingsville’s Wes Callahan (1-2) got ENMU catcher Freddy Carmona on a fielder’s choice grounder in the top half while ENMU’s Juan Sanchez