CORPUS CHRISTI (Javelinas Athletics) - In the end the result may have been closer than the Texas A&M-Kingsville faithful may have liked by, but the Javelina baseball team held on to down Southeastern Oklahoma 9-8 on Saturday on the second day of the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach South Texas Baseball Classic.
The Javelinas (5-1) held a 9-3 lead going into the ninth inning only to see the Savage Storm score five runs off reliever Andrew Cecil with no outs to make it a 9-8 game before Jeremy Flores entered. Flores got the first batter he faced to hit into a double play. After allowing a single and a steal by Troy McCartney Flores earned his second save of the season. He now is tied for second with 12 career saves.
The top of the ninth got off to a dubious start as Nick Grimmett reached on an error for the visitors and Evan Ramsey was hit by pitch. Josh Smith followed with a two double into the corner in left. After a single by Chevis Springer, Ryan Salter roped an RBI double. Springer and Salter plated on a single by Tucker Alexander.
Kingsville scored first with a pair of runs in the third. Ben Villafuerte walked and scored on a single by Ryan Guedry after a Taylor Taska walk. Taska scored from third on the throw to first on a dropped third strike to Clint Wallace by starter Vance Woodruff.
Woodruff tied the game in the top of the third with a two-run home into the pool in right field off Matt Rhodes.
It was one of the few mistakes on the night by Rhodes who moved to 1-0 in his second start for the Javelinas. He struck out eight batters with no walks in six innings, while allowing three hits. Miles Holcomb followed with a scoreless inning of relief in his debut, while Tres Tyler allowed a run on two hits in the eighth before giving way to Cecil.
After an RBI single by Joe Tallerine in the fourth broke the 2-2 tie, Kingsville scored six runs in the sixth inning. Julian Duran walked and went to second on a bunt single by Dustin Aguilar. After a sac bunt by Tallerine, Villafuerte picked up an RBI when he hit into a fielder's choice in which all runners were safe. Taska followed with a single to drive in the second run chasing reliever Eddie Cervantes from the game.
Ryan Guedry greeted Storm Griffin with a single and followed by a Clint Wallace walk. After a double steal, both scored on two-run single by Matt Perez for a 9-2 advantage.
For the game the Javelinas had nine hits. The middle three of the order – Guedry, Wallace and Perez – each had two hits and went 6-of-12 on the day. Guedry and Perez had two RBI apiece. The team had a combined seven steals led by Perez with two.
The tournament concludes tomorrow with the Savage Storm meeting St. Cloud State at noon. The final game pits Loyola against the Javelinas at 4 p.m.