Posted: Feb 8, 2013 9:45 PM
KINGSVILLE, Texas - For the second Friday in a row, Dallas Ponder provided the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team a tremendous start against a nationally-ranked opponent as the Javelinas downed St. Cloud State 2-0 on Friday night at Whataburger Field in the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach South Texas Baseball Classic.
Ponder moved to 2-0 on the season with a 3-hit shutout of the Huskies, who are ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation in preseason polls, striking out seven. Last week, Ponder permitted one run on two hits in six innings of work against Central Missouri last week in a 4-1 season opening win. In 13 innings over the two starts, the junior has a 0.69 ERA, a .119 opponent's batting average and 14 strikeouts.
Ponder combined with Denver Diefenbach, who earned the save, to allow just one runner past second base in the contest as the Javelinas moved to 4-1. Steve Rindelaub, who broke up Ponder's no hitter, was thrown out at home by Joe Tallerine in the sixth. No other Huskie got further than first.
Neither team had much going in the way of offense until the bottom of the fifth when Kingsville finally got to SCSU starter Scott Lieser, who gave up four hits in five innings with six Ks in the Huskies' 2013 debut.
The Javelinas broke through with a pair of runs in the inning. Travis Laird led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by James Black, who was stellar at third with seven assists. Laird crossed the plate on Cash Barker's first hit of the season. After Joe Tallerine reached on an error, Barker came home on shot down the line in left by Ben Villafuerte.
Kingsville tried to stretch its advantage in the bottom of the seventh. Barker led off the inning with a bunt single to start the inning and went to second when Dustin Aguilar was hit by a pitch. After Villafuerte struck out, Taylor Taska was intentionally walked to load the bases. The Huskies gamble paid off as Chris Ballou hit into a double play.
Villafuerte and Barker led the Hoggie offense with two hits apiece.
The Javelinas take on Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Savage Storm opened the tournament with a 9-6 win over Loyola-New Orleans. Loyola and St. Cloud meet at 2 p.m.
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