Las Vegas, N.M.: (By Dylan Docker) The Rangers and Cowboys continued their weekend set with a doubleheader at Brandt Field on Saturday. Regis (20-20, 15-16 RMAC) looked to build on their recent momentum, but New Mexico Highlands (29-11, 22-9 RMAC) regained control in the series by claiming both games.
After falling 5-1 in the early game, the Rangers sent right-handed junior Kyle Mack to the hill. New Mexico Highlands countered with right-hander David Saiz.
Junior center fielder Ryan Eustice led off the game with his second home run of the year. Mack would yield a two-run homer to junior third baseman Josh McMahon and a two-out RBI single later in the inning, giving the Cowboys a 3-1 lead in the first inning.
The Rangers exploded for eight runs in the top of the second, forcing the Cowboys to remove Saiz after just 1 2/3 innings. The Rangers sent 11 hitters to the plate, allowing sophomore right fielder Steven Brault to make the most of his two at-bats.
Brault led off with a double before belting a two-out grand slam later in the inning. With his second home run in as many days, Brault pushed the Regis lead to 9-3.
The Cowboys picked up a pair of runs in the home half of the second, prompting the Regis bench to relieve Mack after two innings pitched. The home team collected two more runs off of sophomore right-handers Kevin Ross and Alec Mielnicki, who combined to pitch the third inning.
The persistent Cowboys offense trimmed the Ranger lead to 9-7 after three innings.
The visitors opened things up in the fourth when a Highlands throwing error netted the Rangers another pair of runs. Sophomore designated hitter John Tosches brought home another run with an RBI groundout, followed by an RBI knock from senior third baseman Dave Holland.
With a 13-7 lead in the seven-inning nightcap the Rangers appeared to be in control, but the Cowboys would rally against the Regis bullpen. A three-run homer from senior left fielder Erik Scott cut the visitors' advantage to 13-10.
Highlands would then take their first lead since the first inning with a five-spot in the sixth. The Cowboys bullpen prevented the Rangers from scoring in the final three innings, allowing the home team to come away with a 15-13 victory.
Highlands won Saturday's slugfest with 15 runs on 17 hits and two errors. Regis fell with 13 runs on 11 hits and one error. Highlands reliever Ray Torres (4-1) picked up the win for his three innings of work. Right-handed junior Hunter Aronson (2-1) was charged with the loss for yielding the decisive runs in the sixth inning. Oscar Almeida (11) picked up the save for the home team.
Brault was a force for the Regis offense on Saturday, collecting six RBI's on only two hits in four at-bats. He also scored three runs and pitched two-thirds of an inning.
Junior second baseman Nick Billinger finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Tosches went 1-for-3 and collected two RBI's as well.
Sophomore first baseman Tony Piazza also picked up an RBI, making six Regis starters who drove in at least one run in Saturday's nightcap.
The Rangers will look to pick up a series split in the finale on Sunday, April 22. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.