PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University’s baseball team came close to pulling out another come-from-behind win over ninth-ranked Angelo State on Sunday.
The Greyhounds, who had already won twice in their final at-bat in the series, pulled even 5-5 on catcher Freddy Carmona’s three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. But the Rams pushed over four in the ninth to earn a 9-5 win at Greyhound Field and claim a split of the four-game Lone Star Conference series.
Catcher Chris Adamson went 5-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs and right fielder Clay Puckett added 4-for-5 with three runs knocked in as the Rams (22-10, 17-7 LSC) stayed two games behind eighth-ranked Abilene Christian in the LSC standings. The Wildcats (26-8, 19-5) visit Portales for a four-game set with the Hounds (16-14, 12-12) this weekend.
ENMU had won seven of nine coming into Sunday’s tilt, and in four of them had erased at least a two-run deficit late in the game.
Angelo State put together its ninth-inning rally after No. 9 hitter Travis Lee was hit by a pitch from Evan Orsak (4-2) leading off and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Rasberry — who was hitting just .200 and entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the eighth.
Puckett then singled to center to drive in Lee and took second when ENMU’s Matt Chavez bobbled the ball. After a flyout, Isaac Garcia hit a run-scoring double and stole third, Trey Carter walked and stole second and Adamson delivered both with a bloop single just out of the reach of ENMU right fielder Ethan Wagner.
Rams starter Sam Janca worked into the eighth inning, but left after Clayton Young beat out a leadoff bunt and continued to second on third baseman Lee’s throwing error. He held second as Sean Cruce reached on an error by shortstop Austin Lasprilla, then both runners moved up on Seth Clabaugh’s sacrifice bunt.
Carmona, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, followed with a towering home run to left, his fourth of the season, on the first pitch from Craig Blair. Jerris Springfield (1-0) got Paden Vendrely and Wagner on strikes to end the inning, and pitched around a leadoff single by Chris Eaton in the ninth.
Adamson put the Rams on the board with a two-run homer, his second, in the second inning off ENMU starter Justin Cotten. Puckett doubled home Travis Lites in the third to make it 3-0.
ENMU took advantage of a hit batsman and a catcher’s interference call to get back in the game in the bottom of the third. Clabaugh hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to plate Garrett Cook, and Carmona singled home Clayton Young.
Cotten pitched into the seventh before giving way to Orsak after surrendering a hit batsman and a single to start the inning. Puckett’s RBI single and Keith Towne’s run-scoring groundout gave the Rams a 5-2 lead.