Posted: Mar 17, 2013 6:02 PM
Updated: Mar 17, 2013 10:45 PM
SAN ANGELO, Texas - The Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team started and finished strong on Sunday scored the game's first three and six in its final two turns at the plate Sunday en route to a 12-9 victory over Angelo State at Foster Field. With the come-from-behind win, the Javelinas claim the Lone Star Conference opening series 3-1.
The Javelinas (18-5, 3-1) belted out 20 hits in the game just missing their season-high of 21 set against Arkansas-Monticello in the third game of the season. The Rams, who were ranked 12th in last week's NCBWA poll, are now 15-9 and 1-3.
Kingsville struck first with three runs with two outs in the first inning chasing Rams starter Bryant Rutledge from the contest. After Ben Villafuerte singled but was out trying to stretch it into a double, Tyler Taska doubled and scored the game's opening run on a single by Chris Ballou.
Ballou made it 2-0 as he crossed the plate on a triple to right-center field by Matt Perez. Following a Cash Barker walk, Ryan Guedry's single brought in Perez.
After ASU's Lee Neumann scored by swiping home in the bottom of the first as part of a double steal, the Rams crossed the plate four times in the third to lead 5-3. Christian Summers drove in the first run, while Andrew LaCombe had a 2-run double. The final run scored on a single by Rusty Greer off Javelinas starter Matt Rhodes.
After both teams scored a run in the fourth, Kingsville scored twice in the fifth to knot the game at six. Ballou, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, tripled to start the inning and scored on one of Perez's three RBI. Cash Barker followed with a single and crossed the plate on a single by Dustin Aguilar.
The Rams regained the lead in the seventh. With two away, Neumann singled and went to second on a single by Summers. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Neumann raced home while Summers got caught in a run down for the third out of the inning.
The Javelinas regained the lead in the eighth with four runs. Aguilar led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joe Tallerine. After Ben Villafuerte walked, Taska tied the game with a single to left. After Ballou walked to load the bases, Villafuerte scored the go ahead run as Perez was hit by a pitch. Taska and pinch runner Trent Wagner each scored on wild pitches for a 10-7 advantage.
Aguilar started the ninth with a single just like the eighth and stole second. He was driven in by Villafuerte's single to left. After a walk by Taska, Wagner singled to plate Villafuerte for a 12-7 lead.
The hosts tried to rally in the ninth as Brett David belted a 2-run home run but Jeremy Flores would not allow them to get closer.
With 20 hits, every position player who had a plate appearance recorded at least one hit for Kingsville. Aside from Aguilar's four hits, Ballou and Perez each had three hits. James Black, Villafuerte, and Taska had two hits apiece.
Miles Holcomb moved to 2-0 for the Javelinas. He allowed one earned on three hits in 3-1/3 innings of work. He was one of four pitchers on the day as the Javelinas struggled with control with each hurler walking three hitters.
Rhodes started for Kingsville allowing five runs with four earned on five hits in 2-2/3 innings striking out five. Denver Diefenbach allowed a run on one hit in an inning of work before handing things over to Holcomb.
Flores pitched the final two innings entering the game with the score 10-7 Javelinas. He allowed two runs on a hit and three walks, but struck out four. The senior earned his sixth save of the season and second of the weekend. He is now tied with Juan Obregon for the most saves in school history with 16.
Michael Lange suffered the loss to fall to 2-1. He was one of seven Ram pitchers on the day.
Kingsville returns home to host Texas A&M International on Tuesday at 6 p.m. for Pack the House Night sponsored by New York Life Insurance.
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