Inconsistency was the name of the game this weekend for the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team as the Javelinas split a four-game series with visiting West Texas A&M after falling 13-8 on the Javelinas’ Senior Day series finale Sunday, April 14, at Nolan Ryan Field.
“At times we pitched well, at times we hit well, and at times we didn’t do either well,” explained Head Coach Jason Gonzales on his team’s performance. “Splitting is not what we want at home, but at the same time it’s better than the alternative of losing the series.
With the series split the Javelinas drop to 27-14 overall and 10-10 in conference play, leaving them tied for fifth in the Lone Star Conference with just two weeks left in the season.
play has been a theme for the Javelinas as of late. This is the third straight conference series the Javelinas have split (Tarleton, Cameron, and West Texas).
The Javelinas get a one game break from LSC play as they gear up for a big regional matchup with the 21st ranked team in the nation in St. Edwards (27-12) at Nolan Ryan Field today at 6 p.m. in the final home game of the season for the Hogs.
Going into Sunday’s series finale the Hogs had a chance to win the series, following a 1-0 win on Friday, April 12, and a doubleheader split on Saturday, April 13, losing game one 6-1 and winning game two of the doubleheader 6-4.
The Javelinas came out strong in the finale as they jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning with a Ryan Guedry RBI single.
Guedry would get to third base on an off target pick-off attempt and scored on the next play with a RBI by James Black.
That would be the only lead the Hogs would have as the Buffaloes
answered with four unearned runs in the top of the third, taking advantage of a pair of Javelina miscues.
The score stayed the same until the Buffs added four more in sixth inning on two hits to take a 9-2 advantage. Javelinas pitchers struggled in the inning as they walked four batters in the inning.
In the sixth Matt Perez doubled to bring home a run, but the Buffs would score four runs with two outs in the seventh to seal the win, with two of those runs coming on a controversial call.
West Texas’ David Hebert hit a shot down the right field line and over the first base bag for a 2-run double despite the disagreement from coach Gonzales, who was ejected on the play arguing the call that resulted on two runs for the Buffs.
Using the ejection of their coach as a rallying point, the Javelinas would not go away without a fight and would score five runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 13-8.
Ben Villafuerte would lead the rally when he was walked and scored on a single by Chris Ballou.
Following a Taylor Taska walk, Cash Barker and Perez loaded the bases as the Buffs pitcher hit them with back-to-back pitches, Taska would come across to score on the Perez hit-by-pitch.
A pair of wild pitches led to another Javelina run. Guedry would score the final two runs for the Hogs with a two-run single. That would be as close as the Hogs would get as the Buffs would hold for the win and the series split.
Matt Rhodes picked up the loss dropping him to 4-2 on the season, as he allowed five unearned runs on five hits in three innings.
In the two wins the Javelinas got seven runs on 16 hits while only giving up 4 runs and committing no errors. In the two losses the Javelinas gave up 9 runs on 23 hits and were charged with three errors.
“At this point in time we just have to find a way to get into the conference tournament, as we still control what we do, once again we [Javelinas] can’t dwell on it, we have to move on,” said Gonzales. “We’re just going to have to go with what we have been doing and just hope that we are better than our next opponent.”
The nationally-ranked Hilltoppers come into this regional matchup currently riding a small two-game win streak putting their 16-6 road record against the Javelinas 15-10 home record, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m.