Posted: Apr 21, 2013 5:58 PM
Updated: Apr 21, 2013 6:01 PM
PORTALES, N.M. - In his third start in eight days, Matt Rhodes gutted out a 9-inning, complete-game performance, and the Javelina offense continued to pound the Greyhounds as the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team finished a sweep of Eastern New Mexico with an 11-5 win Sunday afternoon.
The Javelinas improved to 31-15 overall and are now 14-10 in the Lone Star Conference. They remain in a three-way tie for the second seed in the LSC. The Greyhounds, who have lost eight straight to the Javelinas, are now 19-25 overall and 6-18 in the LSC.
With the game tied at three heading into the fifth inning, the Javelinas erupted for five runs to seize control of the game 8-3. After a Joe Tallerine single started the inning, Ben Villafuerte blasted a 2-run home run to left off Ryan Boydstun, who dropped to 1-3, breaking the tie and giving the Hoggies the lead for good.
Taylor Taska and Chris Ballou kept the inning going with back-to-back singles. Taska would score thanks an ENMU error on a sacrifice bunt by Cash Barker. After Barker stole his second base of the game, Ryan Guedry ripped a two-run single up the middle for an 8-3 lead before an out was recorded.
The Greyhounds responded with two runs off Rhodes in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-5.
Rhodes, who had started last Sunday in the finale with West Texas A&M and on Tuesday in the non-conference tilt with St. Edwards, allowed just one runner into scoring position the remainder of the way.
Kingsville added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth frames. In the seventh Guedry led off the inning with a single and scored on a 2-out single by Travis Laird. Julian Duran drove in the final two runs with a double in the top of the eighth plating Villafuerte and Taska.
Rhodes moved to 5-3 as he scattered 13 hits in his complete-game performance. He allowed five runs all earned and striking out three. He did not walk a batter and threw 121 pitches. The complete game was needed after the Javelinas used seven pitchers in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader in a game that saw 34 runs scored combined.
Kingsville finished with 14 hits in the finale. Taska led the way with three hits, while Ballou, Guedry, and James Black, who drove in the game's first two runs, each had two.
For the series Kingsville hit .377 as a team and outscored its hosts 48-33. James Black led the way with a .625 mark and led the team along with Laird with eight runs batted in the series. Taska and Villafuerte each scored six runs for the Javelinas. Cash Barker had a team-best four steals and Taska three as the Javelinas finished 15-of-17.
Kingsville finishes the regular season next weekend with a trip to Incarnate Word in the final LSC series between the two teams.
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