Sports

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For the women’s basketball team of Texas A&M-Kingsville, a strong second half effort where they outscored their opponent 34-30, proved to not be enough as they fell to 0-24 on the season with a 78-65 loss to Cameron University on senior night.

With Javelina seniors Lauren Jay and Tonje Milde being honored before the game, TAMUK was set on finishing their final home game of the season with a win, with Jay and sophomore Micah Weaver set on doing just that.

“Lauren really played well coming in right off the bat,” said head coach Wade Scott. “It’s her senior year and you always want to go out on top.”

Jay, who has been a leader since she first wore blue and gold, knows how much she appreciates playing in front of the fans in Kingsville, especially for the last time.

“Playing in front of this crowd for the last time, I really wanted to give it my all and my best,” said Jay. “I love this crowd and their support and how they always back me up.”

The senior forward finished her final game at Hampton Inn Court with 13-points on 6-11 shooting in 28 minutes of play.

For Weaver, scoring the basketball has come natural all season long and she showed it once again despite the Javelina struggles in the first half.

“Micah played well tonight and she has all season long,” said Scott.

The 5’9 shooting guard finished with 20-points on 10-15 shooting in 34 minutes of play.

For Cameron, consistent scoring and taking advantage of Javelina turnovers, proved to be the difference. The Aggies scored 23-points off of turnovers and finished with 4 players scoring over 10-points with forward Brani Leal and guard Jade Herl combing for 36 of their 78-points.

“We want to move on and get a win,” said Scott. “We have two more chances to do that and we will see what happens.”

With the Javelinas sitting at the bottom of the Lone Star Conference, a win at Midwestern State and Angelo still gives them hope of getting into the LSC tournament. With Scott still searching for his first win as head coach, he knows time is running out but the window to succeed is still open.

“If we can get a win in both of those games then we make things interesting,” said Scott. “We can slip into that 8th spot and get into the conference tournament but if not, we still want to get a win because nobody wants to go winless in a season.”

With just two games left in the regular season and with a chance to finish 0-26 for the first time in school history, all it takes is one leader to make a difference and give her team a reason to believe. The Javelinas will look to capture their first win of the season with their final road trip of the season starting in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“Going into Midwestern, I know we can overcome them if we execute,” said Jay. “If we can score and rebound we will have a chance. They are a good team but so are we.”

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Jordan Jahr (31) shrugs his defender to get open in the paint. Photo by Rey Castillo
Duan Wright (13) goes for the slam in the second-half against Cameron. Photo by Rey Castillo
Duan Wright (13) goes for the slam in the second-half against Cameron. Photo by Rey Castillo

With only two games left in the regular reason and the Lone Star Conference Tournament less than a month away, the men’s basketball team of Texas A&M University Kingsville took care of home court on their final home game of the season with a 78-65 win over Cameron University, Feb. 18.

Seniors Jordan Jahr, Justin Phillippe and Don Thomas played their final game at home as they celebrated Senior Night in front of a packed Hampton Inn Court where they were honored before the game.

The Javelinas battled from the start , but it was the second half where they showed their talent and the rest of the LSC that they are a force to be reckoned with. Forward Duan Wright who scored only 2 points in the first half, made sure that the second half would belong to him and sure enough, it did.

The junior Scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half giving him a new career-high in points in just 32 minutes of play.

“We have to go out in our last home game with a bang,” said Wright. “A game like this makes me want to work even harder in the gym and for me and my teammates to give it our all.”

With the Javelinas outscoring the Aggies 34-30 in the second half after being outscored 48-31 in the first half, coach Estelle knew that these seniors might just be playing their final basketball of their lives and strong second half performance was essential if they wanted to come out on top.

“Coach told us it was the last game and we just wanted to play hard for them,” said Wright. “We gotta get ready for the tournament and continue to work hard every day.”

Senior forward Jahr, finished with a double-double which included 18-points and 14 rebounds on 7-13 shooting in his swan song home game.

“It felt great and that’s how you want to end your last home game,” said Jahr. “We still have work to do but it feels good to come out on top.”

With the win the Javelinas are now 8-16 overall and 3-9 in the LSC and with a date with Midwestern State in their final road trip of the season.

“It’s do or die for us,” said head coach Johnny Estelle. “Heading into the final games of the season and the LSC Tournament, one bad possession can cost you a game, so it is a major deal for our kids to come up with a quality win. They work hard in practice and throughout the games and I could not be prouder.”

After losing by just 4-points in their last meeting with the Mustangs on January 24th, the Javelinas know they are capable of coming out on top the second time around.

“We can’t have turnovers and we must rebound,” said Wright. We must take care of the ball against those guys because they can take advantage of turnovers and shoot it.”

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Head coach Jason Gonzales argues a call in a game against the Steers.
Head coach Jason Gonzales argues a call in a game against the Steers.

The reigning Lone Star Conference Champion Javelina baseball team, is set to begin conference play this Friday at Nolan Ryan Field against West Texas A&M University who like the Javelinas, find themselves with only four losses through the first ten games of the season.

For head coach Jason Gonzales and company, a 1-3 start to begin the season is nothing these guys haven’t dealt with before. In 2014, The Javelinas found themselves in a similar position at this time when they started the season 2-4. But it’s 2015 now and since the slow start, TAMUK has won 5 of their last 6 games to stand at 6-4 before their four-game showdown with the Buffs.

Coming into the conference matchup, the similarities between the teams make the matchup interesting in many ways.  TAMUK has scored 69 runs, while WT has scored 75. As for hits, WT has the upper hand with 108, while the Javelinas are close by with 97. In the power category, TAMUK finds themselves with 4 home runs, while the Buffs have 5. In RBI, once again another close stat as WT has 71 while the Javelinas have 59.  And finally for pitching, the Buffs have the advantage with a team ERA of 3.68 while Javelina pitching sits at an ERA of 5.38.

In this weekend four game series, I look for the Javelina pitching to keep up where they left off against Texas College. Ryan Benitez showed why he could be the ace of the staff in his second and third starts of the season, where he shut the Steers and Jets down with a combined 13 strikeouts and 2 runs earned in 10 total innings pitched. As for the offense, I look for Cline Andrews to keep up the hot bat and carry his team-high .410 batting average to do damage to WT pitching. The senior third baseman already collected 16 hits with 5 doubles and 1 home run.

I also look for Wesley Aguliar to keep up where he left off against the Steers, where he collected 7 hits in the three game series to carry his team to victory. The Javelinas find themselves getting hot and it could not be a better time with conference play starting. The Javelinas are starting to show why they were picked to win the LSC at the start of the season. The key to victory this weekend will be the offense keeping up where they left of, where they scored 18 runs combined in the first-inning of each game with the Steers. The pitching will need to have solid outings from Benitez, Hayden James, Miles Holcomb and Matt Terones. If the offense can provide and the bullpen can hang on, I look for closer Ryan Scott to close the door on what is likely to be a competitive four game series.

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Hayley Boyett for the Javelinas waits for a pitch during her at bat.

Upcoming Schedule for TAMUK SoftThe Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina Softball team had an outstanding performance last week as they were able to sweep the Rams of Huston-Tilloston University in a doubleheader winning both games 9-1, 8-0 in 5 innings.

In game 1, sophomore pitcher Carlie Clark had the best performance so far of her season as she was able to pitch a career high of recording 9 strikeouts just missing the mark of tying her record from last season with 10 strikeouts.

“Carlie recorded 9 pitches in and out innings and the sports information director said that she did not throw her first ball until her 18th pitch which is just outstanding and I know she has more to show especially when we begin to play against the conference opponents,” said head softball coach Betsy Dean.

This game was definitely what the team needed as a confidence booster because next week they will really test their skills when they travel to San Angelo to take on the Rambelles who are on top of their game so far this season with an 11-1 record overall.

“I told our girls to go into the game as if we are playing the toughest opponent in the conference which is probably going to be Angelo State or West Texas A&M but we will be ready to really test our skills,” said Dean.

In game 2, freshman pitcher Bella Rosas started off the way Clark did from game 1 and that was striking out the first 4 batters from the Rams lineup.  Rosas totaled 7 strikeouts to pick up the win in game 2 and shutting down the Rams 8-0.

“I was very pleased to see what Bella can bring to the mound and she did awesome as the defense backed her up we were able to return the favor by letting our bats do the work and put runs on the scoreboard,” said Dean.

Clark now moves to (2-1) and Rosas goes to (1-2) for the season as they get prepared to take on San Angelo for their first Lone Star Conference series next week on Friday and Saturday for 2 doubleheaders on February 27 and 28.

The Hogs (6-5) overall will return to Vernie and Blanche Hubert Field to take on Texas A&M University-Commerce for two twin bills to begin on March 6, with the first game beginning at 4 p.m. and on March 7, with that game to begin at 1 p.m.

Head Coach Jason Gonzales argues a call in the third-inning. Photo by Fares Sabawi

With dominating pitching and the offense scoring a combined 18 runs in the first inning in each game of their three game series, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina baseball team crushed Texas College 15-4, 12-5 and 9-2 to complete the three game sweep.
In game one with the offense clicking early, TAMUK was in control from the start behind short stop Wesley Aguilar leading the way.

“I felt good since the beginning of the game,” said Aguilar. “I just wanted to keep the ball to the right center gap and connect on line drives. It’s a long season but we just need to keep playing our Javelina baseball with pitching and defense.” Aguilar finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

For starting pitcher Ryan Benitez, it was a bounce back performance from a week ago as he finished the night with 6 strikeouts giving up only 6 hits.

“I just wanted to come out and throw strikes,” said Benitez. “We have a lot of new players but we are starting to come together as a team. We just need to continue what we did tonight and continue to hit the ball.”

Every Javelina touched base against the Steers with a season-high 15 hits in the blowout.

“It’s huge to come out and get runs early,” said head coach Jason Gonzales. “It allows our pitcher to charge and get hitters and throw strikes. When you have a lead like we did, you have to keep putting the weight on the other team and we are learning to do that. Hopefully that momentum can carry us into tomorrow’s game.”

For the Steers, their top of the lineup seemed to be the only offense for them as first baseman and number two hitter Anthony Lehman finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBI in the loss.

Second baseman Ryan Fickel for the Javelinas and Aguilar combined for 5 hits, while Hayden Vesely and Clint Wallace combined for 5 RBI.
“We just need to keep playing and keep hitting, so the bullpen can rest so we can be ready for conference,” said Aguilar.

“Our priority is to win the first game like we did and once we have done that our goal is to win the second game,” said Gonzales. “If we can do that, then we can go for the sweep having won the series. We will work hard to come out tomorrow to get the series win and hopefully have the opportunity to adjust our goals.”

The Javelinas would continue to soar in game 2 as they came out swinging early once again, this time led by Cline Andrews, who finished the night going 3-5 with 3 RBI.

After putting up 6 runs in the first, Matt Terones did the rest as he picked up his first victory of the season after striking out 5 Steers in 5.0 innings pitched. “Our starting pitcher is getting better,” said Gonzales. “Anytime those guys and go out there and give us a comfortable lead, I expect us to keep getting hits and the plate and go in with a mindset where we can finish a game.”

In the final game, starting pitcher Hayden James allowed just three hits in 5.0 innings and another big first and fourth-inning gave the Javelinas breathing room as they scored big early once again. Andrews finished off his weekend going  3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.

“I’m proud of these guys that were able to come and win three games this weekend,” Gonzales said. “We still have a lot of work to do and teams are only going to get better here on out.”

With the three game sweep, the Javelinas find themselves at 6-4 before they begin Lone Star Conference play against West Texas A&M University this Friday for a four game series with the Buffs at Nolan Ryan Field.

“We will need to continue to work hard and get ready for those guys,” said Gonzales. They are a good team and we will need to be ready because from here on out it only gets harder but I know our guys are ready for the challenge.”

Hayden James (40) struck out a career-high 11 batters in the game 2 loss. Photo by Rey Castillo

With Lone Star Conference play underway and West Texas A&M University making its way to Nolan Ryan Field, the baseball team of Texas A&M University Kingsville find themselves with a split after winning 6-3 in their first game with the Buffs and falling 3-1 in their second of the double-header.

It was starting pitcher Ryan Benitez getting the call for the Javelinas and he would respond once again with a performance that would give his team a chance to win. Benitez finished his night giving up just 1 run on 6 hits with 2 strikeouts.

“We got a well pitched game from Ryan and it gave us a chance to win,” said head coach Jason Gonzales. “We got some timely hits and were able to put the game away and that’s why we came out on top.”

The Javelinas were able to score a run in the first-inning for the third time in their last four games and it started with second baseman Ryan Fickel who was able to score a run on a Cline Andrews single. Fickel, Zach Smith and Andrews combined for 5 hits and 3 RBI in the win.

“The hitters responded and came through and they helped us put the game away,” Gonzales said.

With a 6-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning, Gonzales called on closer Ryan Scott to close out and the game and he did just that. With the save, Scott collected his third of the season and tied the Javelinas all time record for most saves in a season.

In the second matchup with the Buffs, the story was starting pitching.

Coming off a 5 inning shutout with 6 strikeouts, Hayden James would show why his teammates and coaching staff look to him to get outs. James would finish the night giving up just 3 hits and 2 runs with 11 strikeouts. The 11 strikeouts would be a new career-high for the 6’3 senior from Corpus Christi.

“I felt really good going into the game,” said James. “I just needed to focus on executing my pitches and I was able to hit my spots and my defense worked hard behind me.”

With the bats quiet, the Javelinas only managed to come up with just 2 hits in 28 at bats, while the Buffs came up with 6 hits, two of them coming from third baseman Matt Cole, who drove in the insurance run to give the Buffs a 3-1 lead, which would be the deciding score.

“We just need to have more energy in our next matchup with them,” said James. “We need to come out and outplay them.”

With the split, the Javelinas stand at 7-5 overall and 1-1 in LSC play.

“Our goal is still to get a series win and our game plan tomorrow will be the same as it was today,” said Gonzales. “We need to get good starting pitching again and a few timely hits.”

Ryan Benitez finished with 6 strikeouts in 5 innings pitched. Photo by Rey Castillo

After scoring 9 runs in the first inning, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina baseball team crushed Texas College 15-4 with their most runs scored since March 15th against Eastern New Mexico.

With the offense clicking early, TAMUK was in control from the start behind short stop Wesley Aguilar  leading the way.

“I felt good since the beginning of the game,” said Aguilar. “I just wanted to keep the ball to the right center gap and connect on line drives. It’s a long season but we just need to keep playing our Javelina baseball with pitching and defense.” Aguilar finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

For starting pitcher Ryan Benitez, it was a bounce back performance from a week ago as he finished the night with 6 strikeouts giving up only 6 hits.

“I just wanted to come out and throw strikes,” said Benitez. “We have a lot of new players but we are starting to come together as a team. We just need to continue what we did tonight and continue to hit the ball.”

Every Javelina touched base against the Steers with a season-high 15 hits in the blowout.

“It’s huge to come out and get runs early,” said head coach Jason Gonzales. “It allows our pitcher to charge and get hitters and throw strikes. When you have a lead like we did, you have to keep putting the weight on the other team and we are learning to do that. Hopefully that momentum can carry us into tomorrow’s game.”

For the Steers, their top of the lineup seemed to be the only offense for them as first baseman and number two hitter Anthony Lehman finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBI in the loss.

Second baseman Ryan Fickel for the Javelinas and Aguilar combined for 5 hits, while Hayden Vesely and Clint Wallace combined for 5 RBI.

“We just need to keep playing and keep hitting so the bullpen can rest so we can be ready for conference,” said Aguilar.

With the win, the Javelinas are now 4-3 and over .500 for the first time all season. With two more matchups with Texas College, Coach Gonzales knows his team will need to be ready.

“Our priority is to win the first game like we did and once we have done that our goal is to win the second game,” said Gonzales. “If we can do that, then we can go for the sweep having won the series. We will work hard to come out tomorrow to get the series win and hopefully have the opportunity to adjust our goals.”

Duan Wright goes for the slam against Cameron University. Photo by Rey Castillo
Duan Wright scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half.
Duan Wright scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half. Photo by Rey Castillo

With only two games left in the regular reason and the Lone Star Conference Tournament only a month away, the men’s basketball team of Texas A&M University Kingsville took care of home court on their final home game of the season with a 78-65 win over Cameron University.

Seniors Jordan Jahr, Justin Phillippe and Don Thomas played their final game at home as they celebrated senior night in front of a packed Hampton Inn Court where they were honored before the game.

The Javelinas battled from the start but it was the second half where they showed their talent and the rest of the LSC that they are a force to be reckoned with. Forward Duan Wright who scored only 2 points in the first half, made sure that the second half would belong to him and sure enough, it did. The Jr. Scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half giving him a new career-high in points in just 32 minutes of play.

“We have to go out in our last home game with a bang,” said Wright. “A game like this makes me want to work even harder in the gym and for me and my teammates to give it our all.”

With the Javelinas outscoring the Aggies 34-30 in the second half after being outscored 48-31 in the first half, coach Estelle knew that these seniors might just be playing their final basketball of their lives and strong second half performance was essential if they wanted to come out on top.

“Coach told us it was the last game and we just wanted to play hard for them,” said Wright. “We gotta get ready for the tournament and continue to work hard every day.”

The senior forward Jahr, finished with a double-double which included 18-points and 14 rebounds on 7-13 shooting in his swan song home game.

“It felt great and that’s how you want to end your last home game,” said Jahr. “We still have work to do but it feels good to come out on top.”

With the win the Javelinas are now 8-16 overall and 3-9 in the LSC and with a date with Midwestern State in their final road trip of the season.

“It’s do or die for us,” said head coach Johnny Estelle. “Heading into the final games of the season and the LSC Tournament, one bad possession can cost you a game, so it is a major deal for our kids to come up with a quality win. They work hard in practice and throughout the games and I could not be prouder.”
After losing by just 4-points in their last meeting with the Mustangs on January 24th, the Javelinas know they are capable of coming out on top the second time around.

“We can’t have turnovers and we must rebound,” said Wright. We must take care of the ball against those guys because they can take advantage of turnovers and shoot it.”

Micah Weaver led all scorers with 20 points in her final home game of the season. Photo by Rey Castillo

For the women’s basketball team of Texas A&M-Kingsville, a strong second half effort where they outscored their opponent 34-30, proved to not be enough as they fell to 0-24 on the season with a 78-65 loss to Cameron University on senior night.

With Javelina seniors Lauren Jay and Tonje Milde being honored before the game, TAMUK was set on finishing their final home game of the season with a win, with Jay and sophomore Micah Weaver set on doing just that.

“Lauren really played well coming in right off the bat,” said head coach Wade Scott. “It’s her senior year and you always want to go out on top.”

Jay, who has been a leader since she first wore blue and gold, knows how much she appreciates playing in front of the fans in Kingsville, especially for the last time.

“Playing in front of this crowd for the last time, I really wanted to give it my all and my best,” said Jay. “I love this crowd and their support and how they always back me up.”

The senior forward finished her final game at Hampton Inn Court with 13-points on 6-11 shooting in 28 minutes of play.

For Weaver, scoring the basketball has come natural all season long and she showed it once again despite the Javelina struggles in the first half.

“Micah played well tonight and she has all season long,” said Scott.

The 5’9 shooting guard finished with 20-points on 10-15 shooting in 34 minutes of play.

For Cameron, consistent scoring and taking advantage of Javelina turnovers, proved to be the difference. The Aggies scored 23-points off of turnovers and finished with 4 players scoring over 10-points with forward Brani Leal and guard Jade Herl combing for 36 of their 78-points.

“We want to move on and get a win,” said Scott. “We have two more chances to do that and we will see what happens.”

With the Javelinas sitting at the bottom of the Lone Star Conference, a win at Midwestern State and Angelo still gives them hope of getting into the LSC tournament. With Scott still searching for his first win as head coach, he knows time is running out but the window to succeed is still open.

“If we can get a win in both of those games then we make things interesting,” said Scott. “We can slip into that 8th spot and get into the conference tournament but if not, we still want to get a win because nobody wants to go winless in a season.”

With just two games left in the regular season and with a chance to finish 0-26 for the first time in school history, all it takes is one leader to make a difference and give her team a reason to believe. The Javelinas will look to capture their first win of the season with their final road trip of the season starting in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“Going into Midwestern, I know we can overcome them if we execute,” said Jay. “If we can score and rebound we will have a chance. They are a good team but so are we.”

Photo courtesy Javelina Athletics

Although they outscored their opponent 50-38 in the second half, it was not enough as the Texas A&M University men’s basketball team fell to Tarleton State University 75-70 in a Lone Star Conference matchup that came down to the wire.

With TSU coming out firing on all cylinders, the Hogs found themselves down as many as 15 points in the first-half. The Texans showed why they were ranked second in the conference and TaShawn Mabry showed why his teammates rely on him to score when needed. The 6’6 Jr. Forward finished with 16-points on 7-11 shooting from the floor.

“I feel like the first half wasn’t good enough and our team was pretty upset about that,” said Jr. Forward Duan Wright who led the Javelinas with 15-points. “Coach Estelle was telling us we needed to step up and told us that we needed to step up the challenge.”

For the Texans, the double scoring threat of Mabry and Michael Hardge was what set the game apart as the two combined for 32-points on 5-8 shooting from 3-point land.

“We didn’t adjust well to them in the first half,” Wright said. “They also made free throws and had a lot of big offensive rebounds.”

Led by Wright, Dj Weathers and Troy Jones, the Javelinas closed in on the Texans with a 12-2 run hoping to have their biggest comeback of the season. Although the three Javelinas combined for 38-points in the game, points off turnovers was the difference as the Texans scored 21-points off Javelina loose balls. Free throws and offensive rebounds by TSU also proved to be a factor for the Javelinas loss.

“Our comeback keeps us hungry and it also keeps is humble knowing we had them beat in the second half,” said Wright.

With the loss the Javelinas are now 7-16 overall and 2-9 in the LSC with another conference matchup with Cameron University only 4 days away.

“We need to focus on the things we did well and the things we didn’t do well,” said Wright. “We can only learn from the past so we won’t make the same mistakes in the future.”