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Cowboys: Top 10 in two polls

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By Dave Kavanaugh

New Mexico Highlands University hopped to 10th in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll on the heels of the Cowboys’ four-game sweep of Regis over the weekend in Denver.

NMHU (29-6 overall and 19-3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) received 344 points in the poll, which was released Monday. The team was 14th in last week’s poll.

Highlands, which earned the No. 1 ranking in the Central Region this past week, is rated as high as ninth among the nation’s NCAA Division II baseball teams. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has coach Steve Jones’ bunch at No. 9 in the nation.

The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll’s top five remained intact for the second straight week, with Southern Arkansas (35-3) topping the list, followed by Central Missouri (30-4), Tampa (37-6), California-San Diego (34-5), and Florida Southern (34-5). Abilene Christian (38-8), Columbus State (31-8), Francis Marion (31-9), Emporia State (28-8) and NMHU round out this week’s top 10.

No other RMAC team ranked in the top 30, although defending league champion Mesa State and Nebraska-Kearney each received votes.

The Cowboys’ sweep of Regis was their third of the season against RMAC opposition.

Sunday’s 25-12 nine-inning romp over the Rangers saw them rack up 26 hits by 10 batters.

Justin Kaid (5 for 7, four runs, three RBI), Phillip Rodriguez (4 for 4, four runs, four RBI), and Christian Garcia (4 of 5, three runs, three RBI) led the bust-out offensive performance. David Bustillos and Brad Morgan had three hits apiece.

Steven Becerra (2-1) picked up the pitching victory.

The Cowboys opened the contest with 10 runs their first time at the plate and never trailed.

It was the 10th consecutive win — and the 15th in 16 games — for Highlands.

NMHU plays at Colorado Christian, Mesa State and Metro State over the next three weekends to close the regular season.