Tarleton State fought all the way to the 'if' game as the No. 5 seed in the six-team Lone Star Conference Baseball Championship at Foster Field in San Angelo, but No. 1 seed Angelo State won the third meeting between the teams at the event, 6-0, Wednesday afternoon.
It was the second championship for the Rams, who won their first in 2007. ASU also won the regular season championship.
Angelo (40-15) used the combine efforts of Michael Lange, Michael Weatherly and Craig Blair to scatter eight Tarleton (30-21) hits, only one of which went for extra bases. Lange (9-0) started and worked five innings to get the win.
Tarleton's Matt Buckmaster tossed a complete game, allowing four earned runs - two were unearned thanks to two errors - on 12 hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
It was the bottom of the Angelo lineup that did much of the damage, beginning with a five run second inning. The final run came in the third.
The top five hitters in the ASU lineup combined to go just 5-23 at the plate, but the 6-8 hitters were 5-10 with six RBIs and a home run. Tate Allison had the homer, a two-run shot that made it 4-0 in the second.
Landon Thompson and Andy Wolfe were each 2-4 for the Texans, who stranded seven runners.
Tarleton rode yet another strong performance by ace Pete Perez to reach the 'if' game. ASU would have won the title Tuesday night if not for his nine innings of shut out work and 11th inning RBIs by Ryan Small and Garrett Hardey in the 2-0 pitchers' duel.
Perez also went the distance in Tarleton's opening-round 4-2 upset of No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Kingsville. The junior righty pitched 18 innings in the tournament and allowed just two runs on nine hits while striking out 14.
Blake Silguero was 3-4 with two RBIs and a run in the opener, while Hardey was 2-4 with the other two RBIs.
Small had a big tournament, including a three-run double to lift Tarleton to a 3-2 defeat of Incarnate Word in round two, and the game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly when they Texans beat ACU 3-2 in the final game of the loser's bracket.
ASU also handed Tarleton its first loss in the championship, winning 16-0 when the teams met as the tournament's only remaining unbeatens in round three.
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