Baseball breaks win streak in final

Rams keep the series win, drop game four

By Deundra Smyth
On March 9, 2017

Photo by Rebekah Wortham
The Rams gather for a team moment before the first game of the series against ENMU.

The Rams baseball team broke their 12-game win streak, but earned a 3-1 series win over the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds March 3-5.

Rams showed their resilience early on, opening the series against ENMU with a 4-2 March 3 comeback victory, and were well on their way to another season series win.

Junior pitcher Matt Shannon earned his second win of the season as he dominated on the mound, striking out a career-high 11 batters in his eight innings of play.

The first game of the Saturday doubleheader saw pitcher Ryan Smith record his first start of the season and ended with a score of 7-3, earning the senior his third win of the year.

After an early inning RBI by Steven Pinales, senior outfielder, the Greyhounds battled back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth.

The Rams, however, remained composed and responded, scoring three fourth inning runs of their own to retake the lead 4-2, going into the fifth. ENMU next inning was set to fight back, spurring a pitching change in the Ram bullpen.

"I have so much confidence in our bullpen," Aguirre said. "No matter who’s warming up down there, they come in and you know they’re going to throw strikes and put up zeros for us."

Rams’ offense added three more runs in the sixth to give the team some breathing room and seal the game one victory.

"I think mentally we’re tougher than most teams," Aguirre continued. "Most teams, when they have a couple errors, they fall apart. But we stayed together and picked each other up and I thought that was really good for us."

That mental toughness would be immediately put to the test in the second game of the doubleheader.

Runs seemed to come in bursts for the Rams as they combined for four runs over a three inning span, opening a lead that Eastern New Mexico attempted to overcome.

However, junior second baseman, Jonathan Soberanes and teammate Tyler Coolbaugh, senior shortstop, had timely hits to keep any thoughts of a Greyhound comeback at bay.

Senior catcher Matt Waller contributed with additional run support, bringing in three runners on the day.

After the 5-3 victory in the second game of the doubleheader, Soberanes, who leads the team with 20 hits on the season, explained that the team’s keys to winning games is simple and straight-forward.

"Just look to not change the game too much and find any way to get on," Soberanes said. "Look to play our game and not hang around with them or let them hang around with us, but rather just keep competing, whether that’s on defense or offense."

Head Coach Kevin Brooks expressed just how important it is for his team to be able to battle adversity and remain focused throughout games of this nature.

"I think that’s just the maturity of this team," Brooks said. "We want to be perfect; everybody does. I wish that was reality, but when things don’t go your way you have to go on to the next thing and I think we did a good job of that."

While the team only had one loss on the season, that was to change on the series closer.

Their 12-game win streak came to an end against the Greyhounds, despite putting up nine runs in the Sunday afternoon thriller which saw the Rams fall 12-9.

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