Hounds take first LSC series win

Apr. 16—OKLAHOMA CITY — Jonathan Baileys hadn't had a lot of opportunity to play for Eastern New Mexico University's baseball team before this weekend.

Suffice it to say, he pretty much made the most of his opportunity.

The junior designated hitter from Tipp City, Ohio went 7-for-17 with a triple, three home runs, nine runs scored and nine runs batted in against Oklahoma Christian, capped by a 3-for-5 day with a pair of early two-run homers and five RBIs in Sunday's 13-5 triumph. That gave the Greyhounds three victories in the four-game set for their first Lone Star Conference series win of the campaign.

ENMU (18-24, 16-24 LSC) is 10th in the 13-team league, and needs to climb over eighth-place St. Edward's (19-23, 19-21) and ninth-place Texas A&M International (18-24, 18-22) over the final two weekends to earn a spot in the eight-team LSC postseason tournament in early May.

The Hounds host St. Mary's (also 18-24, 16-24) at Greyhound Field in a crucial series this weekend before visiting second-place Lubbock Christian (30-12, 29-11) to end the regular year April 26-28.

Baileys, whose home runs on Sunday came in his first two at-bats, is now 12-for-27 for the season with seven extra-base hits, including four home runs, and 12 RBIs.

"We had multiple guys stand out at the plate this weekend, but Jonathan Baileys was our spark that continued to ignite us with some big-time hits," ENMU coach Riley Price said.

The Hounds outscored the last-place, pitching-thin Eagles 64-37 in the four games, but missed out on a possible sweep when OC (8-34, 8-32) pulled out a 14-13 win in the second of two seven-inning games on Saturday on a two-run homer in the seventh by junior second baseman Sloan Laird.

ENMU notched 17 hits off seven Eagles pitchers in the finale, with juniors Daniel Pruitt and Tucker Gideon also collecting three apiece. Meantime, junior left-hander Ruger Bravo (2-2) worked four hitless innings in relief, striking out six, to give the Hounds time to put some distance in the score.

"We had another solid performance from our hitters today," Price said. "Our pitching and defense did a great job of minimizing (damage) and allowing us to continue tacking on runs."

This weekend's series begins with a 5 p.m. nine-inning tilt on Friday.

ENMU 22-13, OC 6-14 (Saturday) — The Hounds turned the opener into a rout with 11 runs in the fifth, making it 17-2. Junior right-hander Gavin Perry (6-4) went five innings, striking out seven.

ENMU pounded out 22 hits and took advantage of 11 walks, two hit batsmen and three OC errors. Gideon went 4-for-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored while senior right fielder Cooper Hamilton was 3-for-5 and drove in five runs on his fourth and fifth homers of the campaign.

Juniors Luciano Terilli and Willie Ponce hit two-run singles in the fifth and Gideon delivered a bases-clearing double before Hamilton capped the rally with his three-run shot to straightaway center.

Junior first baseman Beau Preston went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and Baileys finished 2-for-4 and also knocked in three.

In the nightcap, the Hounds carried a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth before the Eagles erupted for nine runs. Pruitt hit a three-run homer in the sixth, then ENMU loaded the bases with two out in the seventh.

They stayed alive when junior Demetrio Archuleta reached on a third-strike wild pitch, making it 12-10, before Ponce followed with a go-ahead, three-run triple to right-center.

In the bottom half, though, sophomore right fielder Hank Heiselbetz led off with a single before Laird ripped his fourth homer of the year to right. The Hounds committed three errors in the contest, leading to six unearned OC runs.