Cowboys get one at UNK

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Final weekend critical to NMHU postseason hopes

Submitted to the Optic

KEARNEY, Neb. — Junior lefty Edgar Vela threw a strong six and two-thirds innings and the New Mexico Highlands baseball team had 16 hits to salvage the last game of this past weekend’s series with Nebraska-Kearney, 7-1, Sunday afternoon at Memorial Field.

With the win, the Cowboys improve to 20-24 (14-21 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) while the Lopers (30-13, 25-9 RMAC) see a four-game win streak come to an end.

Winning his second game this spring, Vela walked one, gave up just five hits and coaxed the Lopers to fly out 13 times. Finally, he got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third with one of his three strikeouts.

UNK loaded the bases again in the seventh but right hander Xavier Tavorn got a flyout to get out of the inning. On the day, the Lopers had only five hits but left 10 on base.

All nine Cowboy starters had at least one hit with second baseman Ben Swisher going 4 for 5 and shortstop Thomas King going 2 for 3 with two runs batted in from the nine hole.

For UNK, senior second baseman Jordan Mitchelhill went 2 for 4 from the leadoff spot and junior lefty Mike Loseke came out of the pen to fan five and walk none in a season-high seven and one-third innings.

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Highlands, which closes with a home series vs. Colorado Christian (4-31 RMAC) needs to finish ahead of Colorado School of Mines (12-22) in order to qualify for the sixth and last spot in the upcoming league tournament. Mines plays at Mesa State (24-12) this weekend.