LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University junior second baseman Colton Sims continued his fast start on Friday. Unfortunately, it couldn’t keep the Greyhounds from blowing a 15-0 lead against New Mexico Highlands.
Sims drove in five runs with a pair of homers, his second and third of the season, and recorded a rare unassisted triple play in the third inning as he caught a bases-loaded line drive, tagged the runner coming from first base and then touched the bag to get the runner breaking off second base.
All that did, though, was keep the Hounds (4-1) in command a little while longer as Highlands, playing its season opener, scored 14 runs in the bottom of the fourth and went on to a 22-16 win in the opener of a four-game series.
Sims, who went 8-for-9 in a four-game sweep of Adams State last weekend at Greyhound Field, hit a two-run homer in a nine-run third, made the triple play in the bottom of the inning, then opened a 15-0 lead with a three-run shot in the top of the fourth.
The triple play was the third in the program’s history, with the others coming in 2000 and 2004.
Highlands scored its 14 fourth-inning runs on 10 hits and two ENMU errors, chasing starter Brett Humphreys. Left fielder Kyle Davis, who went 3-for-4 with six RBIs, hit a three-run double in the fourth and added a two-run, go-ahead homer in NMHU’s three-run sixth.
Designated hitter Peter Creamer went 4-for-6 with a home run for the Hounds, while left fielder Derek Crenshaw added 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Center fielder Jordan Gollat and third baseman Josh McMahon were both 4-for-4 and combined for six runs scored and seven RBIs for the Cowboys.
Michael Garcia, the third of five Cowboys pitchers, picked up the win with three shutout innings.
The teams are slated to play an 11 a.m. doubleheader — two seven-inning contests — before closing out the series with a noon single game on Sunday.