PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University split a Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader with Southwestern Oklahoma on Friday, beating Southwestern Oklahoma 18-13 in the first game before losing the nightcap 15-3.
The teams begin the weekend locked in a battle for sixth place in the conference, with the top six teams advancing to the LSC tournament in early May. The Bulldogs (17-14, 12-11 LSC) stayed one game ahead of ENMU (15-17, 13-13) with the split.
Another doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m. today to complete the four-game series.
ENMU senior right-hander Jerry Manning improved to 6-0 in the seven-inning opener despite giving up 10 runs and 12 hits in five-plus innings. The Greyhounds took a 7-1 lead in the bottom of the first, keyed by Kevin Thompson’s two-run single and Ryan Pruitt’s two-run double, and led 11-1 after three.
Center fielder Luis Quinones led a 20-hit attack, going 4-for-5, while Thompson was 3-for-4 and right fielder Ethan Wagner went 3-for-5, including a two-run homer. Designated hitter Garrett Cook also homered for the Hounds, who ended a four-game losing streak.
In the second game, scheduled for nine innings but called after seven because of the 10-run rule, Southwestern’s Red Patterson (3-3) went the distance, allowing nine hits and striking out seven. The Bulldogs, who had 16 hits in the opener, pounded out 18 hits in the nightcap, led by third baseman Nelson Espinal, right fielder Jon-Andrew Martin and center fielder Reggie York with three hits apiece.