KINGSVILLE (Javelinas Athletics) - In a battle of nationally-ranked teams in Division II on a chilly Saturday, No.-4 Texas A&M-Kingsville fell 8-4 in 10 innings in the opening game of a doubleheader and 3-0 in the second game at Nolan Ryan Field.
The two teams will meet in single game at noon on Sunday.
In the first game, the teams entered the tenth frame knotted at four. The Muleriders used timely hitting to break the tie. The No. 13 visitors pieced together four hits – three singles and double – and a Kingsville error in the inning.
Trevor Rucker singled to start the inning off Dustin Luna and came around to score what proved to be the deciding run on a single by Chase Harvey. Jon Phillips drove in a run with an RBI double with a second run scoring on an outfield error. Jackson McCurdy singled in the final run.
The Javelinas fell behind 4-0 after 2-1/2 innings as Southern Arkansas scored two runs in the second and two in the third off Dallas Ponder.
Kingsville would pull to within three runs in the bottom of the third. The Hoggies broke through on a single by Derrick Walls that plated Justin Lee.
While Cody Williams held the Muleriders at bay by tossing 4-1/3 scoreless innings, the offense would tie the game in the sixth with three runs on three hits, but left the bases loaded. Kingsville stranded eight in the game
Singles by Ryan Guedry and Clint Wallace sandwiched a walk drawn by Miles Holcomb off Dylan Lynn to load the bases with no outs. With no outs, Travis Laird drove in Guedry with a single to left, while Justin Lee walked to bring in Holcomb. With two away after a strikeout and force play at home, Taylor Taska drew a walking bringing in Laird. Matt Perez popped out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Javelinas tried to end the game in ninth. Perez led the inning off with a single up the middle. Mario Siller came off the bench looking to bunt Perez to second but popped it up in foul territory. After Julian Duran went down on strikes, Perez swiped second but was stranded.
Luna suffered the loss for the Javelinas. He allowed three runs with two earned on two hits and a pair of walks in 2-1/3 innings of work. Luna was one of six Javelina hurlers on the day.
Blake Sullivan pitched five scoreless innings for Southern Arkansas to get the victory. He scattered two hits, struck out five while walking three.
The Hoggies had 10 hits in the game. Walls led the way with four hits, while Guedry had two. SAU had 11 base knocks with Carver Rademacher, Rucker and Harvey with two apiece.
In falling 3-0 in the second game, Kingsville was unable to get going offensively as Mulerider starter Timothy Buchanan pitched seven scoreless inning scattering four hits and striking out 12. Preston Gray tossed two innings for his second save of the year.
Matt Rhodes was solid in his first start. He allowed three runs with two earned in six innings of work. He fanned three and allowed 110 hits. Holcomb, Weston Silverburg and Hayden James combined to hurl three shutout innings keeping Kingsville close. Holcomb struck out three and James two.
Southern would break a 0-0 tie with a run in the fifth and added two more in the sixth. Back-to-back singles opened the inning with Harvey scoring on a 2-out hit to left by Phillips. In the sixth, the visitors put together four singles to plate two runs off Rhodes.
Dustin Aguilar led Kingsville with two hits, while Justin Buchanan led the Muleriders with three.