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Rough Riders lose to Odessa College

By Dave Kavanaugh

Ethan Harden smashed a home run and a double as part of a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, but it came in a losing cause. Luna Community College lost 20-10 to Odessa College on Saturday, March 16, in the finale of a four-game series.

The series, technically a home set for Luna, was held in Rio Rancho, N.M. The Rough Riders usually play home games at New Mexico Highlands University’s Brandt Park, but NMHU was hosting Metro State over the weekend.

Harden drove in three runs and scored three of his own. Adrian Munoz doubled twice and accounted for a game-high four RBI, while leadoff hitter Nick Rodriguez went 3 for 3.

Luna led 4-0 after a strong first inning and held the advantage until the top of the fifth, when the Wranglers scored seven times to grab an 8-4 lead. Odessa pounded out 20 hits compared to 13 for LCC. Odessa won 12-0 and 14-3 on Friday.

Wrangler ace Marc Luna threw a no-hitter and recorded eight strikeouts in the opener, which lasted five innings. Only one walk – surrendered to Harden – spoiled the perfect-game bid.

Odessa’s Ivan Melendez and Harry Fullerton both homered and Tyler Latham drove in four runs to fuel the Wranglers’ victory in game two. Dustin Sipe, one of seven Rough Riders with one hit apiece, tripled and drove in a run to highlight Luna’s offense. He and Keaton Christy also turned a double play. Odessa scored the game’s first six runs and stayed in front throughout the contest, which also went five innings.

In Saturday’s first game, Odessa scored a 4-0 shutout. It was a one-run game through the first three innings. It was another Wrangler pitching gem, this time for Chandler Arnold, who struck out 11 en route to a one-hitter. Only Rodriguez broke through for a single against Arnold and the Odessa defense. Brandon Petrino (2-2) had a solid game on the mound, holding Odessa to two earned runs on eight hits and one walk through seven innings. Melendez did hit a solo home run for the Wranglers, who have won eight in a row to improve to 17-7.

Luna (3-23) was to host Trinidad State Junior College this week in a makeup game from Feb. 25.

A Luna softball doubleheader at Otero Junior College, originally scheduled for March 14 in La Junta, Colo., was cancelled.

The Rough Rider women (6-11) are scheduled to play four games at Western Texas this Friday and Saturday in Snyder, Texas. First pitch is noon Mountain time Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.