Sports

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In spite of seven strong innings from five different pitchers, the Texas A&M University Kingsville baseball team (26-17, 20-9 in LSC play) lost their lead in the ninth inning and fell to the St. Edward’s Hilltoppers, 5-3, Tuesday night at Nolan Ryan Field.

Trailing 3-2 in the 7th inning, The Hipptoppers loaded the bases and would tie the game on an RBI single by pinch-hitter Steven Robertson who was just getting started. Robertson would go on to bat again in the ninth against Weston Silverberg and connect on an RBI double that would give his team the lead for good.

Dustin Luna got the nod to pitch with Ryan Benitez and Matt Terrones resting from starts against Eastern New Mexico two days prior. Luna pitched 2.0 innings of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts in his third start of the season.

“It’s a disappointing loss, especially when you have a lead in the ninth inning,” head coach Jason Gonzales said. “We played a lot of guys that haven’t played a lot this season but we cant make mistakes, especially this late in the season.”

The Javelinas got things going in the first-inning with an RBI single by Larren Artis who put TAMUK on the board first. The Hogs would hold that lead until the sixth, when SEU tied the game on a fielder’s choice. The Hilltoppers added another run in the seventh to take a 2-1 lead but the Javelinas would tie things up with an Wesley Aquliar Squeeze that scored David Massey.

“The defense played well and I felt like we scored enough runs to win,” Gonzales said. “When you have the lead in the ninth you feel good but tonight we just didn’t get it done.”

With the playoffs only a few weeks away, Gonzales knows his team needs to be ready to play their best ball.

“We just have to play better,” Gonzales said. “We just have to learn from the mistakes we made.”

The Javelinas will begin a three game road trip in San Angelo as they will take on the Angelo State Rams starting on Friday and with just seven games left, TAMUK will look to pad their two game lead in the Lone Star Conference standings.

“We have to go into that series in Angelo learning from the mistakes that we made tonight and make sure that we don’t repeat them,” Gonzales said.

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Kaina Martinez is on pace to compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m relay at the national championships.
Kaina Martinez is on pace to compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m relay at the national championships.

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Track & Field team traveled April 18 to compete in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the LSU Alumni Gold Meet going up against strong Division I & II competition.

Jeron Robinson, junior high jumper, took the title, jumping  a season best 7-feet, 4.25 inches.  Courtland Wells of Southern Mississippi who took 2nd place with a jump of  6-feet, 0.25 inches.

Senior 400-meter runner Amber Perry was able to record the fastest time in the Lone Star Conference, crossing the finish line as a runner-up with a time of 53.98, which is now the 4th fastest time in Division II and just seconds behind the winner Mariam Kromah form Southern Miss who won the race with a time of 53.68.

800-meter specialist junior Michal Idziak is now in control of the event in the LSC after clocking a provisional time to take 3rd place in section A with a time of 1:49.81 and just seconds from the top two who also ran a 1:49.  Idziak is now tied for the fifth fastest time in the nation, is third best in Javelina history, and looking towards a stronger performance come conference and nationals.

Freshman runner (800) Francisco Solis was able to capture a 5th place finish in section B of the event to improve his time with a 1:52.39 competing against a strong field as well.  Solis is also focused for the 1500 meter run as he has a time of 3:56.48, which puts him in 4th place in the conference.

In the women’s 4 X 400 meter relay, the team of Jasmine Miller, Kathy Trevino, Kaina Martinez and Perry crossed the finish line in 5th place with a time of 3:42.85 but lead the conference with a time of 3:41.99.  They recorded the school’s second fastest finish and now hold the top four times and hope to continue to add more to the records book.

Head coach Ryan Dall will now get prepared to send his top athletes for the first time to the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, April 25. The rest of the team will be competing on the same day but in Houston for the Rice Twilight meet.

Those will be the last two practice meets before the 2015 Lone Star Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet that will be hosted by the Rams/Rambelles of Angelo State University in San Angelo,  May 7-9.

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Head Coach Wade Scott talks with his players during a timeout last season
Head Coach Wade Scott talks with his players during a timeout last season

After a school-worst 0-26 finish to the 2014-2015 season, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville women’s basketball team has decided to clean house, starting with the roster.

First-year head coach Wade Scott has decided to cut all players except for forward Ope Ibrahim, Kyra Bauer, Kaila Cihzer and guard Ashley Viera.

“I enjoyed all of these players and coaching them,” Scott said. “But at the end of the day it (coaching college athletis) is a business.”

Scott is coming off his first season as head coach and is the 13th head coach in Javelina women’s basketball history.  He joined TAMUK after eight seasons as an assistant coach on the University of Houston women’s basketball team.

“We had a lot of players commit (for next season) but I can’t say anything right now until compliance signs off.”

According to a former Javelina basketball player who asked not to be named, Scott made his decision to trim the roster just weeks after the final game of the season.

“I don’t agree with it at all,” she said. “I just feel like two of the girls that were kept don’t produce.”

Still, with a winless season, it was easy to see changes were coming, she said. And that could be a problem since more than half the roster still needs to be filled. The players cut include two who would have completed their college eligibility next year, she said.

“I feel like he (Scott) should have kept the soon-to-be seniors just because these girls have been at TAMUK since their freshman year,” she said. “For him to cut them because they weren’t his recruits is what hurt us.

“We did everything he asked and for him to penalize the girls who still have eligibility is wrong.”

Scott has signed two junior college players so far this recruiting season – Kaylin Roher and Kaylee Kana, who will join the Javelinas come fall.

 Kana is a 6-foot forward who played the past two years at Ranger College in Ranger, Texas, where she averaged 9.5 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in 26 games.

 Scott now has a chance to build his team through recruting and avoic another winless season.

New faces and new chemistry could just be what the team needs  to turn the team around, she said, but she feels she and her former teammates got the short end of the stick.

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Javelina football players break from spring practice.
Javelina football players break from spring practice.

With spring football wrapping up, first year head coach Daren Wilkinson and the Texas A&M University-Kingsville football team will wrap up practices at the Make A Wish Spring Game at Javelina Stadium on Saturday.

“We are looking for guys giving good effort,” Wilkinson said. “The players need to understand that they have to keep fighting harder from first snap to last whistle.”

The Javelinas will have their first spring tailgate with every student on campus invited to attend.

“I think it is great to have football back in general,” business major and Javelina football fan Marissa Torres said. “The tailgates are always fun and it always gets everyone ready for the season. I hope our team is better since we have a new coach and I just hope the weather doesn’t ruin the tailgate.”

The Javelinas are coming off a 3-13 season that not only put them out of contention early, but it was to bring the change at head coach giving Wilkinson and his new coaching staff the nod. David Brown II, Phil Serchia and Ronnie Palmer will join Wilkinson for the first time this season.

Brown II takes over as defensive coordinator after a season as the secondary and safeties coach at the University of Wyoming.

“We are starting with a clean slate,” said Wilkinson. “We have not plugged in a player as the starter in any position. Everybody has the opportunity to show us what they’ve got and prove to us why they belong here.”

The first tailgate of 2015 will begin at 3 p.m. with kickoff set to begin at 6.

“I am expecting a good game, we drafted teams today and I am excited about my team,” quarterback Trey Mitchell said. “What excites me the most is that I just get to have fun playing my last spring game.”

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Starting pitching once again stole the show as the Texas A&M University Kingsville baseball team took 3 of 4 games against the Angelo State University Rams at Nolan Ryan Field to improve to 15-3 at home, giving head coach Jason Gonzales his 200th win of his career. Ryan Benitez once again got the nod to face off against the third-place Rams who sent right-hander Steve Naemark to the mound. The two righties would pitch well, but it was Benitez who came out on top allowing 0 runs for the second consecutive start. Blake Johnson and Zach Smith would both finish 2-3 with two doubles, with Smith providing the only run for TAMUK. “Ryan pitched well and he has been solid for us all season long,” Gonzales said. We were able to rely on him and even though we didn’t score a lot of runs, our team was still able to pull out the win.” The Javelinas would get a similar performance in their second game with the Rams but this time it was Hayden James getting in on the pitching action. James would allow just one run in four innings pitched as he set up his offense to score 8 runs behind third baseman Cline Andrews and center fielder Brayton Carlson who combined for 4 runs on 5 hits pulling the Javelinas away for at least a series tie. “I felt good going into the game and I just needed to focus on executing pitches and once again hit my spots,” said James. “My defense played well behind me and that’s why I was able to go out there and get it done.” With James and Benitez providing consistent pitching, left hander Matt Terrones would make a name for himself after coming off his first scoreless outing of the season sas he got the start in the third game of the series. Terrones would allow just 4 hits in 7 innings pitched in his second consecutive shutout of the season. “I can’t say enough about what those three pitchers have done,” Gonzales said. “Matt is probably one of the biggest competitor’s that I know and its almost a fist fight when I want to pull him out because he wants to win so bad and when a guy fights like that and competes like that, that’s all you can ask for from a starter.” Although the Hogs would go on to lose the final game of the series, the Javelinas set themselves up grab a first place lead in the Lone Star Conference standings before they hit the road for nine games before coming home for Cameron University on April 10th. “We always preach that a great ball club and staff feed off each other,” Gonzales said. “The season is long and come April and May it is going to get hot and that is when we will really be tested. Our starters will need to have a bullpen that is ready and rested with four game series and double headers coming up.”

On March 22, Jason Gonzales earned his 200th victory as head coach of the Texas A&M University Kingsville baseball team, making him the fastest skipper in Javelina baseball history to reach the 200 win mark. Entering his seventh season as head coach of the Javelinas, Gonzales has lived up to all expectations on and off the field. Gonzales has taken the Javelinas to three NCAA South Central Regional Tournaments since taking over as head coach. With back to back-to-back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances; the Javelinas are set to continue their winning ways in 2015 with a head coach that knows his 200 wins are not just by his efforts, but from those around him. “What 200 wins means is a couple of things,” Gonzales said. “If I have been good at anything it is because I have been surrounded by good people. We have been able to recruit quality student athletes who have bought into the program we have in place.”
Gonzales, a native of Cuero, began his baseball journey starting at shortstop at Cuero High School, where he later graduated in 1988 before becoming an All-state baseball player.  He then would be taken in the MLB draft by the Atlanta Braves in 1988, but signed with the University of Texas. He then suffered an injury while at UT and transferred to Blinn Junior College where he played from 1990-1991. He was again selected by the Braves in the 1991 draft, but went to the University of Louisiana Lafayette where he played two seasons for the Ragin’ Cajuns.  Gonzales then served as an assistant for two years at Arkansas State and one season at Wharton County Junior College.  He returned to UL Lafayette in 1998 where he served as an assistant through the 2002 season. During that time, the Cajuns hosted their first NCAA Regional Tournament, advanced to the NCAA College World Series and won a pair of regional championships before coming to the Javelinas. “The good Lord told me this is where you need to be,” Gonzales said. I saw that the coaching job was open and my wife and I felt Kingsville was a place that we could come and build something special and when you walk with the Lord all you have to do is follow him and overall we just felt this is where we needed to be.” In 2014, the Javelinas advanced to the championship game of the NCAA South Central Region for the second consecutive season and were one out away from advancing to the College World Series before falling to Colorado Mesa. But 2015 is here and Gonzales knows that there is no room for excuses and knows that his ball club must continue to handle every situation with class and playing for each other. “Playing with class is a big reason we have been successful,” Gonzales said. “I give a lot of credit to my assistant coaches and I am thankful to have been surrounded by good people. A team that I admire the most is the San Antonio Spurs because they have always handled every situation with class and play their game the right way and that’s what we strive to be like.” With new faces on the field and most of their power bats graduating, the mindset has and always will stay the same in Kingsville. Whether it is playing small ball or relying on starting pitching, Gonzales knows adjustments are part of the game. “We are scoring runs differently than we did last year,” Gonzales said. “This year we are stealing more bases and beating teams with our pitching. This has been a very fun team to coach because we only have on starter from last year, so we recruited and been fortunate to have guys step up. The environment has remain the same and we have guys that are God fearing men and these guys enjoy the brotherhood.” The reigning Lone Star Conference champions currently sit at 19-12 overall and 13-6 in the LSC with an LSC best 15-3 record at home as they prepare once again for another LSC title run. “If all people say about me is that I won championships and reached 200 wins, then I think I failed as a man,” said Gonzales. I want to be known as a coach that created an environment for these guys to grow a brotherhood and have fun, love each other and create life long friendships that last them a lifetime.”

It is safe to say the Javelina baseball team is starting to get into form and play like the Lone Star Conference champions that they are.

With solid hitting and consistent defense, the pitching has been the key for head coach Jason Gonzales and company. Matt Terrones , Hayden James and Ryan Benitez have been nothing less than solid in their past three outings.  With their recent matchup against Cameron University, Terrones followed up last week’s win over nationally ranked West Texas A&M University with a shutout. The lefty struck out four Aggies and allowed just three hits in TAMUK’s first shutout since April 26, 2014 versus Angelo State.

Shortly after, James had another pitching performance to remember as the right-hander finished with an 11-strikeout performance against seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings.

The Aggies were only able to get one hit off the senior as James earned his first shutout as a Javelina.

So with the pitching in form and the offense clicking, Gonzales has to be pleased with the young players that are stepping up. Although the season is still young, these guys are on the right track to mirror what they did a season ago.

The Hogs will be looking to prepare for Eastern New Mexico this weekend in a four game set at Nolan Ryan Field. This will be their first matchup of the season with the Greyhounds.

  Looking at the numbers, the Greyhounds find themselves at the bottom of the LSC in fifth place above Cameron, but you won’t find any of the Javelinas taking them lightly. Look for TAMUK to take advantage of their LSC worst 7.20 ERA with 106 runs allowed.

The Javelinas find themselves at 11-7 and in second place in the LSC with their 5-2 conference record. TAMUK will look to use their .281 team batting average against Greyhound pitching. As for offense, the Greyhounds are hitting an impressive .296 against their opponents but you can bet TAMUK’S big 3 will be up for the challenge.

I look for the Javelinas to win the series 4-0 with the pitching picking up where it left off and the bats doing the same. I look for senior third baseman Cline Andrews to continue to swing the bat with this team leading with a .354 batting average to set the tone for his offense, while Javelina pitching finishes the job.

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Kathy Trevino

1. So Kathy, what inspired you to want to run?

Knowing that the man above blessed me with a talent that should be taken advantage of 100%.

 2. Who or what has been your biggest inspiration growing up?

My biggest inspiration growing up would have to be my amazing parents. They’ve always worked hard to give my siblings and I a better life then the one they had and for that I am forever grateful.

3. Who is your favorite athlete?

My favorite athlete would have to be Lolo Jones because of her hard work and dedication she puts on and off the track.

4. What is it like competing under Coach Ryan Dall?

It’s awesome! He is a great coach and has helped me improve a lot over time.

5. What do you enjoy the most about track here at TAMUK?

What I enjoy most about track here is that I’ve had the privilege to work with so many amazing ladies.

6. What is your goal as a student athlete?

My goal as a student athlete to be extremely successful both at school and on the track.

7. What do your teammates and coaches mean to you?

They mean the world to me because it wouldn’t be a team without them. They are all amazing people who have made a huge impact in my life.

8. What was your favorite track moment since  you have been a student here?

My favorite track moment would have to be when I made it to Outdoor track and Field National Championship last year for the second time to run the 400 Meter.

9. What is your ultimate goal in life?

My ultimate goal in life is to be very successful and be able to take care of my parents just like they did with me.

10. What are your plans with track and field after you leave TAMUK?

My plans with track and field after I leave TAMUK are still up in the air but I will continue running thats for sure.

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Lutalo Boyce was one of the three Javelinas to win a title on Saturday.

This past weekend the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Track & Field Team competed at the 2015 Lone Star Conference Indoor Championship Meet in Lubbock  going up against a strong conference.

Both men and women were able to capture a third place finish from both sides with the men recording a total of 124 points and the women with a total of 102 points.

“I think we had a very good conference championship meet. We were third for both (men and women). Obviously we want to win every time , but I don’t know if we could have done any better. We were still third which has been the highest our women have ever been,” said head coach Ryan Dall.

Qualifying for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championship Meet for the men are Michal Idziak in the 800-meter run, Lutalo Boyce for the long jump, Jeron Robinson in the high jump, Jordan Yamoah for the pole vault and Francisco Javier Lopez in the 60-meter hurdles.

“We’re excited to get the seven people to nationals indoor and it is always tough for us because we don’t do many meets and we are kind of at a disadvantage there in terms of trying to get to nationals because you qualify by performance,” Dall said.

400-meter specialist Amber Perry recorded a school record at the LSC meet finishing with a time of 54.95 to take the gold medal and is now headed to nationals for the second time in the event.

“It’s the same for Amber as it is for Michal,  just try to get into the finals, become an All-American. Amber missed it last year as she finished in ninth place so she was upset about that and I’m sure she is gunning to get into the finals this year and earn the certificate to become an All-American in the 400,” Dall said.

A transfer from New York,   Boyce set the LSC record with a jump of 25’7.25” which is ranked among the best in the NCAA. She expects to be a tough competitor for a national title.

“He is a great competitor, he always wants to win so I know the competition will spur him on.

Definitely expect a great performance from and I’m sure he is excited for this meet.,” Dall said. I think he is ready to go to Alabama and have a strong meet.”

Robinson and Yamoah are expected to repeat as national champions with Robinson who became national champion his freshman year and finished runner-up as a sophomore. He is looking for redemption as a junior.  He took the gold at the LSC meet but his best jump leads the LSC with a height of 7’2.5”.

“When Jeron goes out there to compete, he always gives it his best and that is what I like to see from all of our athletes but I’m glad he was able to repeat as the LSC champion and is definitely ready for nationals,” Dall said.

The indoor season is coming to a close.

Once the national meet is complete they have to continue to get prepared for a long, tough outdoor season where the coach has added a couple of meets that were not on the schedule of last year.

“We just want to be healthy through the season, keep everybody training consistently.

That’s the most important thing; we do go up against a very high level of competition and we just got to be prepared to perform to the best of our abilities when the meets come up and take it one meet at a time,” Dall said.

“We always look forward to the conference and national outdoor because those are the most important, I know we will definitely have a shot to finish at the top and be a strong competitive team come conference and nationals.”

The Javelinas are getting set for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championship Meet that will be taking place in Birmingham, Alabama on March 14 and March 15.

The outdoor season will be underway as well with their first meet to be held in Corpus Christi on March 14.

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Forward Duan Wright (13) scored 15 of his 21-points in the second half.

Although they outscored the No.2 seed Angelo State University 40-34 in the second half, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina basketball team fell to the Rams 83-73 in the first round of the Lone Star Conference tournament at the Allen Event center in Allen, Texas.

After being down as many as 20-points, the Javelinas capped off a strong second half led by forward Duan Wright and guard Don Thomas who scored 12 points, while Wright finished with 21-points with 15 of them coming in the final 12 minutes.

“Our goal coming into this game was to compete at a high level,” said Wright. “We wanted to win in this situation because it’s win or go home in the playoffs. Coach told us before the game we could win but we knew they wouldn’t just hand the game over to us.”

 Scoring in the paint came easy for both clubs as ASU finished with 36 points under the basket, but it was the Rams who took advantage in the first half led by senior guard Chris Jones. Jones scored a combined 39-points in the first two meetings against TAMUK and finished the night with 23 points to lead his team in the playoff clash with the Hogs.

“They made a lot of big shots in crucial moment,” said Wright. “They used it to build momentum and they all fed off each others energy.”

All season long the Javelinas battled for 40 minutes each game and in spite of their 8-19 season record, first-year coach Johnny Estelle could not have been more proud of how his young ball club battled.

“I am proud of our guys for fighting back, but there are no moral victories in basketball,” said Estelle. “This was a win-or-go-home game and unfortunately, we ended up with a sour taste in our mouths. I am excited to bring Javelina Nation back to the promised land as we look to continue improving on our foundation. We did not look to make an easy fix. We want a family like culture here and we look forward to what’s to come from our team.”

 With senior Jordan Jahr and Troy Jones playing their final game, Wright knows that other players will need to be step up next season and he could not be more sure that his teammates will step up to the challenge. Jahr and Jones combined for 15 points in their last game as Javelinas.

“I can say that I am proud to be around a great group of guys who are willing to put in the work to bring back pride in Javelina basketball,” said Wright. “The future looks bright and I know we are just a step away from making it to the top.”

The Javelinas will enter the 2016 season looking to bounce back with a young ball club that not only has chemistry, but a year’s experience together. With a season full of close games and losses the Javelinas had in their grasp. Wright will look to lead his team to a using 2015 as motivation.

“I will remember every game that we had in our grasp and make sure we do not make the same mistakes over that coach Estelle told us about,” said Wright. “After the game coach told us that if we didn’t want to feel bad about losing, that we would need to work harder so that next season things will be different and we won’t be in the same boat.”

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