KINGSVILLE - The Texan Baseball team knew before Saturday'sdoubleheader that they clinched the fourth and final playoff spot for the Lone Star Conference tournament with Eastern New Mexico's loss to Angelo State on Friday night. However, there were still two games to be played and the Texans came up on the short end both times during the doubleheader against Texas A&M-Kingsville to close out the regular season. Tarleton State finished the 2015 campaign with a 20-23 overall record and 13-19 in the Lone Star Conference.
Game 1: A&M-Kingsville 5, Tarleton State 2
The Javelina's scored the game's first five runs including a three-run fourth inning with Clint Wallace's RBI single in the fourth highlighting a 3-for-3 day against the Texan pitching staff.
The Texans trailed 5-0 before senior Kevin Meredith helped Tarleton break through with their first run. Alec Humphreys andZach Fleet both singled to start the top of the inning.
Meredith led the Texan offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.
Landon Merka added the fourth single of the sixth inning that scored Fleet to cut Kingsville's lead to 5-2.
Kyle Gottardy started on the mound for Tarleton State and went four innings and gave up five runs (four earned) and struck out two. The senior finished his final regular season wearing a Tarleton uniform with a 4-6 record in 12 starts and a 4.46 ERA in 55 innings.
Cole Foster came on in relief for Gottardy in the fifth and threw two no-hit innings with one strikeout to close out the game.
Offensively for Tarleton, Jonathan Schmitz added a single to lead off the game in the first inning to finish the season with a team-leading .344 batting average. Matt Olive walked twice in three appearences.
Game 2: A&M-Kingsville 8, Tarleton State 5
Tarleton scored the game's final four runs-including three in the ninth-but the Texans' comeback attempt came up short as they fell to A&M-Kingsville 8-5 to close out the regular season.
The Javeline's were able to jump out to a 6-0 lead by the fifth inning against Tarleton that allowed them to escape the late-inning rally.
A&M-Kingsville had 11 hits and were led by Brayton Carlson's 3-for-3 afternoon.
In Tarleton's first scoring opportunity, Kevin Meredith led off the sixth inning with a single to left field and later scored when Dalton Weeks lined a single to center field.
Weeks went 2-for-4 at the plate.
A&M-Kingsville, however, added two runs in the bottom half of the sixth to pad their lead to 8-1 over Tarleton.
Colton Burleson took the mound for Tarleton and went two innings, surrendering three hits and only giving up one run. However, the senior took the loss in the game to finish the regular season at 3-3. Burleson led the Tarleton pitching rotation with a 4.17 ERA and had 23 strikeouts with only six walks on the year.
In the seventh, Alec Humphreys led off the inning with a triple to right-center field and scored one batter later when Evan Robinsongrounded out to second for the RBI.
Landon Thompson launched his second home run of the season in the ninth for a three-run shot that scored Andrew Jacobi and Humphreys.
Humphreys was a home run short of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base for Tarleton. Thompson's ninth-inning home run capped a 2-for-5 afternoon.
Zach Fleet and Matt Olive added singles for Tarleton.
Blain Bagley tossed the final two innings for the Texans and threw two scoreless innings.
The Texans will be the No. 4 seed for the Lone Star Conference tournament and take on A&M-Kingsville again, who is the No. 1 seed after winning back-to-back regular season LSC titles.
West Texas A&M (2) and Angelo State (3) will square off in the double-elimination tournament.
The LSC Tournament will take place May 7-9 at Nolan Ryan Field in Kingsville.