KINGSVILLE (Javelina Athletics) - James Black drove in pinch runner David Massey with one out in the bottom of the ninth as the No. 10 ranked Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team avoided a series sweep with a 4-3 win over Abilene Christian on Sunday.
With the win, Kingsville moves to 4-4 in the Lone Star Conference and is 20-8 overall. ACU is now 18-11 on the season and 6-2 in the LSC.
In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Ballou, who was a team-best 3-of-4, led the inning off with a single. Massey moved into scoring position as pinch hitter Mario Siller put down a sacrifice bunt. After Cash Barker was intentionally walked, Black lined a shot up the middle past a diving Luke Mejia. Massey was able to score safely on the play.
After ACU's Seth Spivey walked to start the game and scored on a single by Taylor Schuetze for a 1-0 lead in the first, the Javelinas would take the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second. Chris Ballou led off the inning with a single and went to second as Matt Perez walked. Both advanced on bunt single by Cash Barker. Ballou tied the game when he scored on a grounder by James Black. Perez gave the Hoggies the lead, 2-1, as he scored on a single by Julian Duran.
Black extended Kingsville's lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. With two away, Barker singled and scored on a triple to left center by Black.
ACU tied the game with a pair of runs off starter Matt Rhodes in the top of the fifth taking advantage of three infield hits and an error by the Javelinas. Ryan Luckie led off with single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Seth Spivey then reached as popup fell between Ben Villafuerte, Rhodes and Ballou. After Tyler Early reached on a bunt single in which Rhodes and Barker collided trying to field, Luckie scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Schuetze. Spivey scored on an error by Perez on a grounder to tie the game at 3-3.
Taylor Taska earned the win for Kingsville. Taska, who also won on Tuesday against Texas A&M International, is now 4-0 on the season. He tossed four scoreless innings striking out four, while permitting four hits and two walks. In 19-2/3 innings, Taska has allowed one earned run and three total.
Rhodes went 4-2/3 innings in the start. He allowed three runs with two earned on seven hits. He fanned two and walked. Of the seven hits he allowed, three didn't leave the infield.
Ty Taylor pitched eight innings for the Wildcats scattering six hits and allowing three earned runs. He struck out four, while walking one. Brady Rodriguez suffered his first loss of the year as he gave the winning run on two hits in the ninth.
The Hoggies finished with eight hits. Ballou was the only Javelina in the top five to record a hit finishing with three. Meanwhile, the 6-7-8 hitters were 5-of-10. Barker and Black each had two hits, while Duran was 1-of-3 with an RBI.
Kyle Conwell led ACU with three hits, while Eager and Schuetze had two hits apiece.
The Javelinas remain at home to host Tarleton State this Thursday and Friday in a pair of doubleheaders. Thursday's action begins at 3 p.m. with Friday's doubleheader at 1 p.m.