Hogs gear up for playoffs: AMK baseball ends regular season with split;...

Hogs gear up for playoffs: AMK baseball ends regular season with split; Javelinas take No. 2 seed into LSC Tournament to play No. 5 seed Tarleton

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With the Lone Star Conference Tournament just a week away, the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelina baseball team played its last games of the regular season this past weekend against the visiting University of Incarnate Word Cardinals, splitting the important LSC series.

Both teams were fighting for the top spot in the Lone Star Conference. After the series split, UIW finished third and the Javelinas in the regular-season standing.

The Javelinas (31-14, 18-10) let the Cardinals come back from a pair of three-run deficits to sweep a doubleheader, 7-6 and 7-4, at Nolan Ryan Field  Friday April 27.

The Javelinas responded on Saturday, April 28, at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi winning 8-5 and 6-4, to gain a series split.

“We know that as a team we can compete with any team in our conference, and I think our team is ready for the tournament to show that they can do just that,” said head coach Jason Gonzales.

With the series split, the Javelinas ended the season as the LSC second seed. They meet No. 5 Tarleton State on May 5 ,whom they swept earlier in the season.

Jaden Dillon took his first loss of the year in game one of the doubleheader on Friday.

Dillon allowed 10 hits, four earned-runs and one walk, while striking out five in 5.1 innings.

Adam Aspaas was locked in a pitching duel, but still ended up with the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits, while striking out six in seven innings.

Dallas Ponder picked up the win in game one on Saturday with 5.2 innings of work.

Ponder allowed five hits, three runs and five walks while striking out five in the first game .

Javelina starting pitcher Zach Pettiford would pick up the win in the second game, throwing 6.1 innings allowing six hits, three earned runs and two walks while striking out five.

The Javelinas are heading into the LSC matchup with the Texans with a lot of confidence,  Gonzalez said.

The Javelinas will most likely be sending Jaden Dillon, who has a ERA of 1.80 and 8-1 record, to the mound for the first game.

The Javelinas hitting has  risen to  .291 average.

Cameron Dullnig, who just came off a 21-game hitting streak, leads the way with a .377 batting average to go along with 24 runs batted in.

Catcher Jake Mendiola is hitting .345  with 34 RBIs Taylor Taska  goes into the tournament leading the team with five home runs.

The six- team tournament  opens  May 5 at Foster Field in San Angelo with No. 3 seed Incarnate Word playing the No. 4 seed West Texas A&M at noon followed by the TAMUK and Tarleton State game at 3:30 p.m.

Depending on the outcome the Javelinas will play either Incarnate Word or West Texas on Sunday.

All games of the LSC tournament can be viewed at lonestarconference.org.

2012 LSC BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

 First Round -Saturday, May 5

Game 3  No. 3 Incarnate Word vs. No. 4 West Texas A&M, Noon

Game 2  No. 2 Texas A&M-Kingsville vs. No. 5 Tarleton State, 3:30 p.m.

Game 1  No. 1 Angelo State vs. No. 6 Abilene Christian, 7 p.m.

*To View updated schedule after each round visit southtexannews.com

Colton Wiliams
Sports Editor