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

Eastern baseball team splits opening games


February 3, 2018

DALLAS — Eastern New Mexico’s baseball team jumped out early on Hannibal Lagrange early and kept jumping, all the way to a 15-0 rout in Friday morning’s season opener at Crusader Field, the first of two Eastern games played Friday in the Dallas Christian College Tournament.

The Greyhounds scored four runs in the top of the first inning, taking control right away. Reynaldo Guillen led off with a single to center field, before stealing second. Alex DeLaCruz then clobbered a homer to left field, giving Eastern a 2-0 advantage.

Endy Villalona drew a walk and stole second, followed by a Julian Heredia homer to left field, increasing the Hounds’ lead to 4-0 with no outs. Hannibal Lagrange then managed to get three straight outs to avoid further damage.

Eastern added a run in the top of third, on a fielder’s choice by Chris Padilla that scored Villalona, but really opened it up in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring three in former, seven in the latter. They did it with smaller ball, as they did not add any more homers after the first-inning blasts by DeLaCruz and Heredia.

Though the Hounds’ offense was prolific, they only needed one run thanks to sterling pitching by Keenan Dodd and Enrique Perez, who combined on a four-hit shutout. Starter Dodd allowed three hits through four innings of work, striking out seven and walking none along the way. Perez worked the last two innings and allowed just one hit, while fanning four of the eight batters he faced and walking none.

Eastern finished with 10 hits of its own, three of which came from Guillen. DeLaCruz and Garlind Webster paced the Hounds with three RBI each.

The afternoon game against Midamerica Christian did not go as well for the Greyhounds, who were beaten 9-2, despite a homer by Jesse Becton.

It was close early on, though. ENMU actually took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when DeLaCruz scored on a wild pitch after tripling with two outs.

Errors enabled Mid America Christian to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth, but Eastern tied it on Becton’s homer in the bottom of the fourth.

From there, however, it was all MACU, which scored two runs in the top of the fifth before breaking it open with five more runs in the sixth.

Eastern’s offense was handcuffed by MACU pitcher Keisy Portorreal, who strung together a three-hitter — Becton’s blast, DeLaCruz’s triple, and a Julian Heredia double. Portorreal fanned seven and walked just one.

The Greyhounds were forced to use six pitchers who combined to allow eight hits and six walks.

The Hounds will wrap their stay in the Dallas Tournament today, playing two more games. The first one against host Dallas Christian is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time start.


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