Posted: Feb 2, 2013 6:08 PM
Updated: Feb 2, 2013 6:09 PM
HOUSTON, Texas - The Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team tried to rally from a 3-0 deficit to Emporia State Saturday morning in the Astros in Action Division II Invitational, but came up just short falling 3-2 at Minute Maid Park.
The Javelinas (1-1) entered the eighth inning trailing 1-0 only to see the Hornets (1-1) add two more runs off reliever Denver Diefenbach. Diefenbach hit the first batter of the inning with a pitch and then allowed a single to right to by Blake Sturgeon. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk loaded the bases, Aaron Rea doubled to left-center field driving in two for a 3-0 lead. The Javelina reliever lasted 1-1/3 innings giving up three hits and two walks.
Kingsville tried to answer in the bottom of the frame. With one away, Ben Villafuerte reached on a throwing error and scored on a triple to right-center field by Joe Tallerine. Tallerine, who tripled earlier in the game to tie the mark for triples in a single game, raced home on a Taylor Taska single up the middle to make it 3-2.
It appeared as if the rally by the Hogs would continue. Ryan Guedry singled up the middle moving Taska to third chasing reliever Brenton Higgins from the game. Matt Perez loaded the bases with one away fouling off a pair of pitches to stay alive from Keith Picht. Picht would not allow any more runs to cross the plate as James Black went down swinging and Clint Wallace hit an inning grounder.
Picht retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his first save of the year.
Kingsville had an opportunity to jump on the board in the first inning. With one away, Tallerine tripled to left center. He attempted to race home as Taska hit into a fielder's choice to third but was tossed out.
The Javelinas would put runners in scoring in the second and third innings but were unable to get a run across either time off Emporia starter Dakota McKaskie. McKaskie (1-0) earned the win for the Hornets hurling six scoreless innings and scattering six hits with no walks.
Zachary Pettiford suffered the loss for the Hogs. In his debut, Pettiford allowed one run on four hits in six innings of work. He struck out four and walked one. Jeremy Flores tossed 1-2/3 of scoreless relief entering with one out in the eighth.
Led by Tallerine and Guedry with two base knocks apiece, Kingsville posted 10 hits to eight for ESU.
The Javelinas continue action at Minute Maid on Sunday taking on Arkansas-Monticello at 7 p.m.
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