Offensive explosion lifts Texans past Greyhounds in series opener


PORTALES, N.M. – Tarleton took advantage of every offensive opportunity and blasted Eastern New Mexico 17-5 in the series opener at Greyhound Field Friday evening.

Tarleton got the scoring started with a four spot right off the bat when Blake Burns laced a two-run triple down the right field line. He was followed up by a Luke Morton RBI double and, four batters later, a bases-loaded hit by pitch from Zach Mesa to give the Texans a 4-0 edge.

After Eastern New Mexico answered with  a two-spot in their half of the first, Tarleton scored nine unanswered runs over the next three innings while Justin Waltmon provided blanks from the bump. Tarleton got two in the second on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice, then three in the third on a sacrifice fly from Corey Young and a two-run single from Morton. The Texans tacked on four more in the fourth on an RBI single from Tyler Fowler, a sacrifice fly from Burns and a two-run single from Morton to give Tarleton a 13-2 lead after four. Morton was 3-3 with 5 RBI and a walk through the first four innings.

Tarleton went on to score four more over the final three innings on RBI from Young and Cameron Lang, as well as an error and a wild pitch in the seventh that plated the final two.

Fowler and Morton sparked the offense in hits, scoring and runs driven in on the night. While Morton ended his night after his 3-3, five-RBI performance in the fourth inning, Fowler went on to score five runs which is tied for the second-most in a single game in program history. He joins his former teammate, Blake Adams, as the only two Texans to score five runs in a game since 2008. Fowler and Morton also led Tarleton at the plate with three hits each Friday in Portales.

Young also boasted a multi-hit performance while Rhett Gallagher, Burns, Jordan Parker, and Lang had one hit each to round out the 12-hit attack. Tarleton also worked 11 walks and were hit by eight pitches.

Justin Waltmon earned the win with five innings of work, over which he allowed three unearned runs on four walks and two walks. He struck out seven. Tyler Thompson and Jacob Mattox each pitched an inning to close out the game. Mattox struck out the side in the seventh.

The Texans and Greyhounds will resume the series with a 3 p.m. CT doubleheader tomorrow in Portales.

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