KINGSVILLE (Javelina Athletics) - A day after opening the NCAA South Central Region Tournament with a 6-3 win in a near-perfect performance, the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team was unable to get the timely hit early and fell 9-1 to Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State on Friday.
The Javelinas (40-17) stranded 13 hitters in the game including 12 through the first five innings. Meanwhile, the Rams, who Kingsville downed in the finals of the LSC Championship a week, improved to 37-20 had 12 hits and stranded just eight.
The Javelinas have lost just twice in their last 14 games with both losses coming at the hands of the Rams.
Like the opener on Thursday, the Javelinas struck first as Matt Perez walked off Mike Weatherly to start the inning. With one away, Clint Wallace was hit by a pitch. After James Wallace went down on strikes, Joe Tallerine singled to left for to plate Perez.
The Javelinas would not score again.
Tied at 1-1 entering the fourth inning, Kingsville threatened in the fourth. Travis Laird walked and Clint Wallace reached on an error. After James Wallace hit into a fielder's choice, Tallerine loaded the bases when he was hit by a Weatherly pitch. Ben Villafuerte hit a hard shot back up the middle that glanced off Weatherly's glove and went straight to Taylor Coughenour allowing the Rams to turn the routine 1-4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Rams offense took over from their. They broke the tie with three runs in the fifth before adding two in the seventh and three in the eighth. The Rams, who had 12 hits, took advantage of three Javelina errors and five walks to pull away. Andrew Lacombe, who homered in the second, and Quaid McKinnon each had two RBI in the game.
Taylor Taska suffered the loss falling to 9-3. In five innings, he allowed four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Denver Diefenbach went two innings in relief permitting two runs with one earned on four hits, while striking out three. Tres Tyler tossed the final inning allowing three runs with just one earned on a hit and two walks.
Weatherly moved to 8-3 tossing seven innings of 8-hit baseball. He walked three and struck out four.
The Javelinas will return to action in the double-elimination tournament on Saturday at 11 a.m. They will face the loser of Friday's night game between Colorado Mesa and St. Edward's. The winner will play at second game on Saturday at 7 p.m.