Eastern New Mexico won its fourth game in six tries this season against New Mexico Highlands on Tuesday evening, pulling out a 6-4 decision in Portales.
NMHU is 14-8 overall; ENMU improved to 12-10.
Down 6-3 going into the ninth inning, Highlands looked to rally but generated just one run against the pitching of Greyhounds closer Ryan Pruitt, who picked up the save.
Pruitt got two batters out and had two on when Josh McMahon stepped up to bat. McMahon — who’d starred in NMHU’s series with Metro State this last weekend — singled to score Chris Pile from second base and advance Jordan Goliat to third.
But Matt Gualco hit a grounder that was scooped up at first base for the final out of the game.
Luis Quiñones turned in a strong game at the plate for Eastern, going 4 for 5 and scoring twice. Josh Cunningham went 2 of 3 and had two runs batted in.
For Highlands, Goliat and Cole Davis each hit 2 for 4. McMahon, one of eight Cowboys with at least one hit, drove in two runs.
Brett Humphries (3-2) earned the pitching win for the Greyhounds after going the middle three innings without allowing a run — and just three hits and no walks.
M Garcia (2-1) was tagged with the loss. He pitched four innings and allowed five hits and three runs, all earned.
Eastern took a 2-0 lead with two scores in the first inning.
Highlands briefly led after putting up three runs in the top of the third.
Then the Hounds answered with two runs in the bottom of the third to make it 4-3. They tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh for insurance.
It was the sixth meeting of the year between the in-state rivals.
The Greyhounds won three of four in a season-opening series Feb. 15-17 at Brandt Park.
The Cowboys prevailed 11-10 in a single nine-inning contest on March 12, also in Las Vegas.
NMHU will visit Colorado Mesa, its longtime archrival in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, in a four-game series beginning 6 p.m. Friday in Grand Junction, Colo.
The Mavericks are off to another big start at 15-5 overall and 9-1 in the RMAC. They’ve won seven of eight at their home yard, Suplizio Field. This past week, they took three of four at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. Their 7-5 loss Sunday snapped an 11-game win streak.
The Mavs are hitting .325 as a team; they’re also adept at working the basepaths, having stolen 50 bases in 60 attempts.
Cody Lahman and Joey Danner are both 4-0 to lead the pitching staff. Matt Williams is a recent Pitcher of the Week in the conference and region.
Mesa is the defending RMAC champion and won five league titles in a row from 2005 to 2009. Highlands has been the Mavs’ primary foil in recent history.
Highlands is hitting .330, led by Goliat (.486, 34 hits, seven doubles, three triples).