The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Javelinas slug way past Greyhounds, 13-7

 

April 15, 2018

PORTALES — A six-run second inning sunk Eastern New Mexico's baseball team in Saturday's Lone Star Conference battle against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Javelinas catcher Will Arnold amassed six RBIs, including a grand slam in the decisive second inning, to give Kingsville a 13-7 victory.

"We got a few guys on base and that's what we're always trying to do is get some baserunners," Kingsville coach Jason Gonzales said. "We got the big hit by Will Arnold right there and got us on the board with the grand slam and allowed our pitcher to kinda settle in a little bit. That was a huge inning for us."

Kingsville (26-8, 5-4) started the top of the second inning with a Dallas Stefano standing double to the right field corner, followed by a pair of walks. A third-straight walk by ENMU pitcher Jonathan Joy brought in Stefano to put the Javelinas on the board.

Arnold's aforementioned grand slam was blasted over the left center field fence, and was essentially a no-doubter when it came off of his bat. After an Alex Gonzalez single, the Greyhounds (16-17, 2-11) got two quick outs, only for Levi Zents to hit a double down the right field line, extending the lead to 6-0.

"We had a few calls that didn't go our way there, and we got to find ways to rise above," Eastern coach David Gomez said. "That's what I was talking to the guys about after the game. If you eliminate that inning, it's 7-7, going into the ninth inning."

Gomez and company took issue with a number of ball and strike calls in the early going, and according to the ENMU skipper, it basically threw Joy off of his game. "We've been on the road a lot, so we're accustomed to not getting every call," Gomez said.

"Obviously, some of those calls are borderline, and that makes Jon pitch 10, 12 more pitches than he needs to pitch. It's tough for a guy we're counting on to go deep in the game and can't get out of the second."

Every time the Greyhounds seemed to have an answer from that point on, the Javelinas always found a way to respond. ENMU scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning, as Garlind Webster's RBI single up the middle got the Hounds on the board, before a bases loaded single to right field by Eurick Perez scored two more runs to cut the lead in half, at 6-3.

But, Kingsville came right back with a pair of runs in the third. That trend would then repeated again in the eighth and ninth inning, as Alex DeLaCruz' two-run triple in the eighth cut the Kingsville lead down to 11-7, only for Kingsville's Austin Ingraham to hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth, as part of a two-run Javelina inning.

Arnold was the star of the day, going 3-for-4 with the aforementioned grand slam and six RBIs, along with a pair of runs scored. As for Eastern, Perez was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Malcolm Smith was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

The Greyhounds and Javelinas still have three games left in the series, as weather issues forced three reschedulings. Today will feature a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m., followed by a single game on Monday at noon.

According to Gomez, a lack of depth has affected his ballclub so far this season.

"Battling a few injuries here and there. That's been a rough part of it. We've been kind of mix and matching catchers, and trying to make it work with just two now," Gomez said. "If we can get the bats going again like we were a couple weeks ago, we can be where we want to be. I think there's a lot of pressure on the pitchers to make good pitches when we're not scoring a lot of runs. I heard a great quote that, 'Hitting's not offense.' We can hit, we just have to be able to score more runs."

 

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