Baseball makes run at LSC title

by Amanda Cantu

The Cameron University baseball team’s success on the field has earned the men a 20-11 overall record on the season and a 13-8 conference record (at time of publication).

The squad faced the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas in its most recent home series and took two of the three games played.

The Aggies clenched the first game of the series in a close 3-2 score line.

The Javelinas grabbed the first run of contest, but by the sixth inning CU was up 2-1, thanks to two hits off the bat of second baseman Josh Dawson. An RBI by Joe Halley would bring in the Aggies third and final run of the game.

James Rhodes was brought in to close out the contest in the seventh inning for the Black and Gold. The pitching ace gave up one run, but still earned the victory and his fourth save of the year.

Assistant baseball coach Kyle Moody said that Rhodes as been a steady force for the team.

“Rhodes can fill any role we need. Whether it’s starting, long relief or closing – he can do it all. He has been in every one of those positions and has filled them all well,” Moody said.

In the following game, CU was unable to come up with the win, falling to Texas A&M-Kingsville 11-6.

The Aggies gave up 15 hits and made a few too many fielding errors, which helped give the Javelinas the win.

In the final game of the series, the bats really got hot. Cameron run ruled their opponents in a 20-9 thrashing.

Though all the men had stellar performances at the plate, Andy Garcia was really the story of the game. Garcia had five hits on five at bats, tying the school record for most hits in a game. The first baseman also drove in a game-high six runs. It was Garcia’s three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning that allowed the Aggies to earn an 11 run lead over the Javelinas, thus enacting the run rule.

Chase Larsson and Kenny Held also had impressive at bats.

Larsson scored five runs and had three RBIs on four hits, two of which were home runs. Like Larsson, Held picked up four hits. Additionally, the right fielder had five RBIs; a number that was second only to Garcia’s six.

Larsson and Held currently lead the nation in home runs, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association earlier in the season named Larsson the National Hitter of the Week for NCAA Division II.

Moody said he was happy the squad was able to pick up the win and acknowledged that batting has been a big factor of the team’s success – not only behind the plate but also on top of the mound.

“Our batting is getting better with the hot weather,” Moody said. “The batting is helping our pitching. It gives the pitching staff confidence when they know our hitters will get runs for them.”

Overall, the assistant coach said he was pleased with how the season has progressed.

“Every season has ups and downs and obviously there are some games that I think we should have won that we didn’t. But, I’m happy with our record for the most part, and I think we’re a good team,” he said.

The men faced conference rival East Central in Ada over the weekend. Before the match-up, Moody admitted that he had confidence in CU’s ability to come home with a victory. We’ll be playing on the road, which is difficult, but I think we have a good chance to win,” he said.

The next home series for the Aggies will be April 15 and 16, when the men square off against Southeastern Oklahoma State. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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