KINGSVILLE-Coming home to Edinburg Monday after a long bus ride from Lubbock, the Texas-Pan American Broncs travel again Tuesday for a 7 p.m. baseball game at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Both these South Texas rivals have been struggling lately. UTPA's Broncs (21-12) lost three straight at Texas Tech to own a 2-8 road record. TAMUK's Javelinas (9-17) have lost five straight.
The Javelinas were playing a doubleheader at home late Monday against St. Mary's of San Antonio.
Jason Thompson (3-1) will pitch for UTPA on this single-game trip by bus, to Kingsville and back on Tuesday.
The Broncs came close to breaking Texas Tech's home winning streak, now 22 games, last Saturday when UTPA ace Omar Ortiz limited the hard-hitting Red Raiders to four hits while UTPA collected 11 hits. Tech scrambled back to win on three errors, 6-4.
Throw out their 0-7 record on the road against three Big 12 Conference teams, and the Broncs would be 21-5. Coach Reggie Tredaway has scheduled amibitiously. The Broncs play five more vs. Big 12 teams, also on the road--at Texas Apr. 14, at Kansas State Apr. 20-21 and at Oklahoma State Apr. 26-27.
After visiting the Javelinas, an old rival university that did not field a baseball team for many years, the Broncs take a 10-day layoff from competition. Then UTPA ends its home season between Apr. 2 and 10. The final eight at home include one with TAMUK on Apr. 6.
UTPA continues to hit the ball well, batting .298 as a team to its opponents' .284. Steve Garza leads the Broncs with his .401 average, 43 hits, 13 doubles and 28 runs-batted-in. Juan Rangel bats .409 with nine hits, Oziel Ortiz .375 with three hits and Angel Perez .350 with seven hits.
T.J. Bartosh ranks as the second-highest-hitting Bronc regular, at .341, with a team-leading 37 walks. Dusty Hart bats .330, Andy Wallace .312 and Lamberto Ung .292. Andy Ness, hitting .265, tops the team with seven homers. Aaron Lakey and Bartosh have six HR. --30--