PORTALES — Sophomore right-hander Justin Cotten pitched a complete-game five-hitter and Eastern New Mexico University beat East Central 5-2 Saturday in the first game of a scheduled Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader at Greyhound Field.
The second game of the twin bill was postponed by rain, and rescheduled for 1 p.m. today. ENMU has a 2-1 series lead over the Tigers after the teams split a doubleheader on Friday.
Designated hitter Ethan Wagner’s two-ruin double to left-center gave the Greyhounds (22-22, 17-18 LSC) the lead for good at 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Seth Clabaugh walked to start the inning against East Central’s Justin Watley (1-3), then Freddy Carmona bounced into a fielder’s choice and Sean Cruce singled before Wagner’s go-ahead hit.
East Central (12-31, 11-24) threatened to tie the score in the fifth after Ryan Estes singled, Tyler Gillum walked and pinch-hitter Trevor Gavin hit an RBI single, sending Gillum to third.
The Tigers then tried a double steal, but ENMU second baseman Garrett Cook scooped a low throw to second and fired home to get Gillum. Cotten (2-2) then struck out Lucas Armenta and got Clint Bowker on a groundout to preserve a one-run lead.
The Hounds taked on two in the bottom of the fifth after Cook was hit by a pitch with two out. Clabaugh greeted reliever Kyle McCormick with an opposite-field RBI double down the left field line and scored when Carmona singled to center.
ENMU took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jereme Johnson walked, stole second with one out and scored on Clabaugh’s single between third and short. The Tigers pulled even in the second on Andrew Minnich’s leadoff double, a sacrifice and Ryan Estes’ infield hit.
Clabaugh and Cruce each had two of ENMU’s eight hits. Cotten walked four and struck out four.