Hounds beat Tarleton in series opener

Staff report

PORTALES — Senior shortstop Brett Ackerman had four hits and drove in three runs, including a walkoff double with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, as Eastern New Mexico University edged Tarleton State 4-3 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game Lone Star Conference baseball series at Greyhound Field.

ENMU (17-16, 7-14 LSC) got a combined eight hits from the top two hitters in its lineup in Ackerman and leadoff man Matthew Burks in squeaking out the victory.

The teams wrap up the series today with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

Senior right-hander Ben Monticello worked eight solid innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (one earned) with no walks and three strikeouts. Senior right-hander Kyle Kesmarki (1-0) tossed a perfect ninth to receive credit for the win.

First baseman Rafael Romo led off the ENMU ninth with a single to right against TSU reliever Ethan Lenz. After pinch-hitter Steven Moore forced Romero on a failed sacrifice attempt, Burks looped a single to center to bring up Ackerman, who lined a ball just inside the left field line to plate Moore.

The Greyhounds led 2-0 after five. Burks tripled leading off the first and scored on Ackerman’s single to left, then Burks singled, took third on Ackerman’s double and came home on Sam Hedrick’s sacrifice fly in the third.

The Texans (17-14, 8-11) tied it in the sixth on RBI singles by Alvaro Moreno and Garrett Kilgore.

The Hounds regained the lead on Ackerman’s RBI single in the seventh, but the Texans tied it in the next inning with the help of a passed ball and a wild pitch.