Hobbs, NM – The USW baseball team kept their playoff hopes alive as they took the first two games of the three game series this weekend with RRAC opponent #19 Northwood University. The Mustangs won the first contest on Friday 7-3 before winning the second game in a 9-8 thriller.
The offense wasted no time for the Mustangs on Friday as they plated two runs in the first inning on one hit. With an error on the Northwood Knight's right fielder, USW extended the two out inning. The Knights answered back in the second inning when Adam Humes homered on a 1-1 count from the Mustang starter, Ernesto Torres, which seemed to be the lefty's only mistake on the afternoon. USW added on two more runs in the second and third innings to jump out to a 6-1 lead. Torres, a senior from El Paso, TX, did not let the Knight homer rattle him and only allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits in 4.1 innings to earn the victory for the USW.
Reyes Melendez, Clinton Graham, and Rene Hernandez pitched the final 2.2 innings for the Mustangs allowing just two hits combined while Hernandez earned his second save of the year. Josh Cappello continued his tear at the plate leading the USW offense with three hits. Martin Adams and Bryan Hernandez would both collect two hits a piece while five other Mustangs added a hit each as eight of the nine Mustang starters had a hit in the contest.
The offense kept rolling in game two scoring three runs in the first inning along with three more in the second to take an early 6-1 lead but it would not hold. Mustang starter, Emory Weatherton, worked five innings allowing eight runs (all earned) on six hits while striking out three and walking four. Reyes Melendez kept the Knight offense in check in his 2.2 innings of relief and the USW offense tied the contest in the sixth at 8-8.
The score held the steady tie until the bottom of the ninth. Joshua Cappello led off the inning with a walk followed by a bunt that turned into a base hit for Ysidoro Reyna. Eric Alvarez stepped to the plate and delivered a one out single up the middle that scored Cappello from second and clinched the series for the Mustangs. Reyna and Carlos Rodriguez each had two hits in the contest to lead the way for USW. Rodriguez collected four RBI while Reyna drove in two of his own.
The third game of the series was a different story. Northwood took a 9-1 lead after four innings of play and would be plenty for the Knight pitching staff. The Knights ended the day with 19 hits and sent five different pitchers to the mound.
The Mustangs scored eight runs in the contest on 10 hits but committed six errors on the afternoon. Josh Cappello once again led the Mustang offense with three hits and two RBI while Ysidoro Reyna and Martin Adams had a pair of hits of their own. USW is now 12-25 on the season and 7-11 in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Mustangs are just one place out of making it to the conference tournament as they currently sit in seventh place.
USW is back at it again this weekend with three RRAC games against Huston-Tillotson of Austin, TX. The series will be the final home stand of the season with Senior Day being held on Saturday. Martin Adams, Ben Briesacher, Joshua Cappello, Andrew Henning, Micah Martinez, Reyes Melendez, Derelle Owens, LeSean Thomas, Ernesto Torres, and Omar Villar will be playing their final home game for the Mustangs. Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 12 noon MST with a double header along with the final game being played Saturday starting at 12 noon MST.