May 5, 2013 11:52 PM
CANYON, Texas - With a six-run sixth inning, the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team surged into the lead and then held off a late charge by Tarleton State to advance to the Lone Star Championship with a 10-9 win on Sunday night at Wilder Park.
The Javelinas, who tied the program's record for wins in a season with their 38th, will meet Angelo State 1 p.m. in the title game. Kingsville would need to just one win to claim the title. If the Rams win the first game, the teams would play again at 5 p.m.
Down 5-4 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Javelinas sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth en route to six runs on six hits. Taylor Taska started the scoring with a triple past a diving Rustin Thomas in right field and scored on a single by Chris Ballou to center.
After Cash Barker was walked by Kody Thiebaud, Ballou raced home on a single by James Black. An infield single by Matt Perez loaded the bases for Travis Laird. Laird capped the scoring with a 2-run single to right for a 10-5 advantage.
With two away in the top of the eighth, the Texans made things interesting. Noah Ringenber tripled to start the rally. Robinson and Nico Moran followed with back-to-back walks from Cody Williams to load the bases. Rustin Thomas promptly made it a 1-run game with a home run to left.
Jeremy Flores entered in the ninth and sent the Texans down in order for his third save of the weekend.
For the third time in the series, Kingsville fell behind early but rallied for the win finding themselves in an early hole as Tarleton scored three times in the top of the first inning. The Texans opened with three straight singles off Matt Rhodes. The third by Ryan Small drove in Nico Moran for the game's first run. With one gone, Fola Lajide hit a 2-run single to left for a 3-0 lead.
Kingsville was able to get two of the runs back in the bottom of the first. With one away, Ben Villafuerte doubled to left and raced home on a single by Taska. Taska made it a 3-2 game when scored on a single by Barker after going to second on a wild pitch.
Kingsville took the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third off Garrett Kelly. Villafuerte led the inning off with a single and advanced to second on a single through the left side of the infield by Taska. Barker drove in his second run with an infield hit as Villafuerte scampered home to tie the game. Taska tagged and handed the Hoggies the lead as he scored on a sacrifice by James Black to center.
TSU retook the lead, 5-4, with two outs in the top of the fifth with a pair of unearned runs with two away. Rustin Thomas started the rally with a double and Small reached on an error by Perez at short. After a wild pitch, Colten Boothe drove in two with a single off the glove of a diving Perez.
Rhodes earned the win to improve to 7-3 on the season as he scattered eight hits over six innings. He permitted five runs with three earned. Williams went 1-2/3 innings recording five straight outs before the Texans rallied. Diefenbach retired the final batter of the eighth.
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