College of St. Joseph's baseball team saw strong pitching performances by Luis Ramos and Sage McCoy, but ultimately dropped two close contests, 2-1 and 2-0, versus Texas A&M Texarkana Thursday afternoon.
The Fighting Saints had opportunities take a lead in Game 1, but were unable to execute the right hit at the right time and fell 2-1. Ramos excellently strung together an arsenal of pitches, and limited Texarkana to two runs on just four hits. CSJ was able to notch six hits off Texarkana pitcher Nate McGhee.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning. Ethan Davis opened the inning with a single to center field. Zach Boehler swung a similar hit and moved Davis to third base. George Gugino reached on a walk, loading the bases with zero outs. Next, Chase Beebe batted a sacrifice fly and scored Davis to put Texarkana up 1-0.
CSJ answered in the top of the third. Junior transfer student Kyle Gould (Picton, Ont.) drew a walk to start the inning. Next up to bat was Salvador Cimino (Tampa, Fla.), who executed a sacrifice bunt to move Gould to second base. With one out, John Loschiavo hit a single to center field and allowed Gould to cross home plate and even the score at one all. Texarkana went scoreless in the bottom of the third and neither team got on the board in the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Texarkana's Joe Pearlman singled to shortstop to leadoff the inning. Keone McKee gave up an out with a sacrifice bunt to Ramos, moving Pearlman to second base. The next batter, Cole Beckham, singled to center and allowed Pearlman to move to third base. Beckham was able to advance on the throw and move to second with just one out in the inning. Wyatt Miller allowed the game-winning run when he hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Pearlman scored to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. The Eagles improved to 8-2 overall and CSJ fell to 2-7.
In game 2, McCoy held his own on the mound with his dominant fastball. Both teams had six hits in the contest. Texarkana hit two runners home in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to hits by Gugino and Beebe. Justin Swecker pitched six innings and allowed four hits and Caleb Baker. CSJ's Cimino highlighted the Fighting Saints as he accounted for two hits and also made two impressive plays at second base.
The Saints will have a chance at redemption against Texarkana on Friday, Feb. 23 as they are scheduled for another doubleheader versus the Eagles with games at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.