While the New Mexico Highlands baseball team has continued its ascent in the national rankings, the Cowboys have also racked up individual accolades. Danny Brown, the Cowboys’ dual threat in pitching and hitting, this past week became the latest honoree, securing the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Week award.
It is the fourth such award for a Highlands player this season.
Brown was instrumental in the Cowboys’ third straight RMAC series sweep and their fourth overall RMAC series sweep of the season, a three-game flush of Colorado Christian in Lakewood, Colo. Brown hit .400 for the weekend, blasting three home runs, scoring four runs and notching eight runs batted in. Brown also worked his magic from the mound, earning his fourth win of the season. He allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings pitched and recorded five strikeouts in the win.
The Cowboys have continued to climb in the national polls for NCAA Division II; they are now ranked seventh in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 30 poll, seventh in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 25 poll and 12th in the PING! Baseball DII Top 30 poll. The Cowboys are also No. 1 in the NCAA Central Regional poll as well as No. 1 in the RMAC.
Within the Central Region, NMHU is first, followed by Winona State (27-7), Minnesota State-Mankato (27-9), St. Cloud State (28-9), Mesa State (24-13), Nebraska-Kearney (26-15), Wayne State, Neb. (20-15) and Minnesota-Duluth (24-16).
Going into this weekend’s road series at archrival Mesa State, NMHU (32-6, 22-3) led the preseason league favorite Mavericks by three wins. There are six league games left in the regular season, including what could be a pivotal Mesa State series this weekend, followed by another road trip to Metro State on April 30 and May 1 in Denver.
Notes: The Cowgirl softball team split a non-league doubleheader with Eastern New Mexico on Wednesday in Portales, losing 1-0 and winning 11-6.
Kelsey Crouse won a fine pitchers’ duel with Ashley Paiz in the opener; each gave up only four hits in going the distance. The lone run came on a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the bottom of the third.