Archrivals Cowboys, Mavs square off

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Eric Maupin’s double to left field and Luis Saenz’s single up the middle scored two runs apiece for New Mexico Highlands (14-12, 9-9 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) in a 4-3 victory at league nemesis Mesa State (15-10, 13-6) on Saturday.

The win over the Mavericks was the first in a scheduled four-game weekend series in Grand Junction, Colo. Mesa won Friday’s nine-inning opener 7-1 and Saturday’s nightcap 8-5.

The teams were to play another nine-inning contest on Sunday.

In game one Friday, Mesa State scored three runs in both the first and fourth innings against NMHU ace Trent Evins.

The defeat spoiled a 3-for-4 day by Saenz. Jarod Robinette drove in Saenz for the Cowboys’ lone run in the top of the fourth.

Evins (2-5) was tagged with six earned runs on six hits and four walks through six innings of work, although he did strike out seven.

In Saturday’s opener, Mesa led 3-0 after a three-run fourth. The Cowboys retaliated with their own big inning — the top of the sixth. An error on a fielder’s choice helped the Cowboys load the bases, setting up Maupin for his shot to left that scored Thomas King and Erik Scott. A bit later, Saenz drove in Maupin and Clay Mohr.

Kyle Sayers recorded the pitching win, having gone six and two-thirds innings and having allowed three runs on three hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.

Mesa outhit Highlands 11-6 in the series’ third game.

NMHU led briefly, 2-1 midway through the third before the Mavericks scored six times in the bottom of the inning.

Scott Fackrell smacked a three-run homer for the Cowboys in the fourth to make it 7-5. But that would be all the offense the visitors could generate.

Jason Sirak took the loss.

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In RMAC softball over the weekend, Highlands’ Cowgirls lost two close games (6-5 and 6-4) in their first doubleheader against Colorado State-Pueblo at the Rawlings Softball Complex in Pueblo, Colo.

Lacey Chesser’s double scored Dannielle Oliva for the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning in game one.

The teams were tied 5-5 at the end of the seventh, necessitating three extra innings.
NMHU is 6-26 overall and 3-18 in the RMAC heading into Sunday’s second doubleheader of the series.

Melissa Martinez (4-16) lost game one. Ashley Paiz was 3 for 6 with two RBI; Amanda Beauchamp and Kristy Partridge had two hits each.

Paiz (2-10) was the losing pitcher for the Cowgirls in game two, allowing six runs on eight hits.  Shelby Hoffman was 2 of 4 with an RBI; Samantha Butler was also 2-4, and Roxanne Avalos added an RBI double.