KINGSVILLE (Javelina Athletics) – The Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team entered its 3-game series with No. 6 West Texas two games out of first and finished the series a game back after splitting Saturday's doubleheader at Nolan Ryan Field.
Kingsville, which won the series opener 10-3, won Saturday's opening game 10-2, but fell 9-2 in the finale with a chance to sweep. The Javelinas are now 23-13 overall and 15-8 in the league, WT is 27-9 on the season and 16-7.
The Buffs win the season series 4-3 after taking 3-of-4 in Canyon.
In the opening game, the Javelinas used a 6-run fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie and starter Denver Diefenbach made sure it stood in a 10-2 win.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning and the game knotted at two, Brian Frazier singled and moved to third on a double by James Black. Justin Lee would give the Javelinas the lead with a 2-run single up the middle.
After Lee scored on a fielder's choice, Miles Holcomb roped a double into the corner in right to drive in a pair of runs. After starter Josh Weyker (6-3) was pulled, Taylor Taska capped the scoring with an RBI single down the left-field line.
The Javelinas added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Derrick Walls was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Julian Duran scored the final run in the sixth.
West Texas took an early 1-0 lead as Dylan Dyson singled to drive in Matt Redfearn.
Kingsville responded with a pair of runs in game two. With one away, Holcomb singled and moved to second on a single by Taska. Guedry doubled into the gap in right-center field to plate Holcomb. Taska scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Frazier.
Diefenbach tossed his third complete game of the season to improve to 7-1 on the season. He allowed two runs on seven hits with a walk. He had three strikeouts.
Taska had a game-high three hits in the opener as Kingsville finished with 13. Holcomb and Lee each added two.
In the series finale, Kingsville trailed 3-0 after four innings. West Texas scored a run with two outs in the second and then added two in the fourth.
After leaving a pair of runners in scoring position in the sixth, the Javelinas finally got on board in the seventh. After James Black walked, Ryan Fickel came off the bench to single. Clint Wallace advanced both with a perfect sacrifice bunt in front of the plate. Black would score as Dustin Aguilar grounded out to second. Fickel would be left at third.
Much like the Javelinas used the big inning to take the win in the first two games, WT sealed the win six runs in the eighth. The Buffs combined six hits with two walks and error to break open the game.
The Javelinas tried to rally in the ninth loading the bases against reliever Sam Ouellet with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. Frazier led off the inning with single, went to second as Black walked and to third on a single by Fickel. Frazier came home as Wallace hit into a fielder's choice. The inning with back-to-back fly balls to center.
The Hoggies finished with seven hits in the finale with Frazier and Fickel each recording two. Kingsville stranded eight runners in the game.
Tyler McKinight finished 4-of-5 for the Buffs, who had 14 hits. David Hebert added three hits with three runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Matt Rhodes suffered the loss as he fell to 5-3 on the season. He allowed seven runs with six earned on 10 hits. Dustin Luna allowed a pair of runs on two hits in a third of an inning. Hayden James faced two batters to end the eighth and Tres Tyler tossed a scoreless ninth.
Scott Cone earned the win as he allowed a run on five hits in seven innings. He fanned five and walked three. Ouellet tossed the final two innings allowing a run on two hits.
Kingsville hosts Texas A&M International on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The game is part of Dollar Days sponsored by flower girls with all tickets $1.