The Fort Hays State baseball team made quick work of New Mexico Highlands on Friday (Feb. 14), winning 10-0 in seven innings. It was the first shutout for the Tigers since Opening Day 2018, a span of 100 games. Additionally, it was the first run rule victory for FHSU since defeating this same Cowboys team 18-8 on February 12, 2017.
The Tigers (6-3) never trailed in the contest, pushing across three runs in the first and never looking back. Estevan De La O led off with a single for NMHU (0-1), but Tiger starter Zach Berg worked around the hit with a pair of strikeouts to put up the first of seven zeros on the top half of the scoreboard.
FHSU took the lead just two batters into the home half when Garrett Stephens plated Drake Angeron from second, who had just swiped his NCAA-leading 11th base of the season. Corbin Truslow broke things open with a two-run shot to right, sending a 2-2 pitch through the teeth of the wind and well over the fence.
Berg added two more strikeouts in the second before the offense put up another crooked number, batting around and plating five in the second. After the first two batters were retired in the inning, Griffin Brunson kept the inning alive by beating out an infield single. Angeron then reached on an error by the second baseman, prolonging the inning.
Fort Hays State made the Cowboys pay for their mistake, rattling off four more hits that led to five unearned runs. Grant Schmidt drove in a pair with the first triple of the season for the Tigers, crushing a pitch sailing into deep center. Truslow added another RBI with a wind-aided double to left center before coming in to score on a throwing error.
While Berg continued to deal on the mound, facing the minimum in the third and fourth, FHSU added single runs in both innings to stretch the lead to 10-0. Angeron plated Brunson with a single to left in the third before Jaxson Webb drove in Jeb Sauer with a two-out, two-strike, opposite-field single down the right-field line.
Berg blanked the Cowboys in the fifth and sixth innings, allowing multiple baserunners in a frame only once, before Brayden Smith came on to record the final three outs in order.
Berg (2-0) picked up his second win after striking out six batters and allowing just six baserunners over six scoreless innings. Stephens was 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI, with Truslow adding two hits, two runs and three RBI. After collecting hits in six of the first eight games, Brunson tallied multiple hits for the first time this season, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored.