CORPUS CHRISTI (Javelina Athletics) - The Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team rode its third-consecutive strong pitching performance and timely hitting on offense to a 4-0 win over Loyola-New Orleans in the final game of the inaugural 2013 Holiday Inn Emerald Beach South Texas Baseball Classic and finished the tournament unbeaten.
The Javelinas moved to 6-1 with their fifth consecutive win on the young season heading into a mid-week tilt with St. Mary's in San Antonio on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Loyola dropped to 3-7.
Following the performances of Dallas Ponder and Matt Rhodes in the first two games of the Classic, Zach Pettiford tossed six innings of shutout baseball. The senior fanned nine batters which is the most by a Javelinas pitcher this season. Pettiford, who is now 1-1, scattered five hits and did not walk a batter.
Denver Diefenbach added his second save of the tournament with three innings of scoreless relief. He gave up one hit and did not walk a batter.
The Javelinas would break a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth inning off Loyola Starter Daniel Posway (1-2). Posway lasted 4-2/3 innings giving up three runs with two earned on seven hits.
With one away, James Black singled to right-center field. With two away, Black advanced to third by steal second and an errant throw by the Wolfpack catcher. He scored the game's first run on a Taylor Taska single following a walk by Ben Villafuerte.
Chris Ballou singled to right to plate Villafuerte prior to Taska scoring on the second error of the inning by Loyola.
Kingsville added an insurance run in the seventh. Black doubled to start the inning and scored on a Taska double for the 4-0 margin.
Loyola had its best opportunity to score in the second as it loaded the bases but could not score. Just two more runners reached scoring position the remainder of the game.
The Javelinas finished with 10 hits led by Matt Perez with three. Black, Taska and Ballou each had two hits.