Jaguars sweep series against LSU-Alexandria to end season
UHV 15, LSU Alexandria 6
John Longoria posed for pictures, signed autographs and bid farewell to his teammates Sunday afternoon at Riverside Stadium.
Longoria's career at the University of Houston-Victoria came to an end earlier than he would have predicted before the season began.
"We were just young," Longoria said. "The past few years we haven't had such a young group. It's tough getting the chemistry going and getting the freshmen comfortable and getting their feet on the ground. It was rough year through and through and it was not what we wanted."
The Jaguars ended the season on a bittersweet note, taking a 15-6 win over LSU-Alexandria to complete a sweep of the three-game series.
But it was of little solace for Longoria and fellow seniors Tyler Steiner and Creighton Hoke, whose college careers came to an end with a 20-29 season.
UHV did not receive a bid to the NAIA's Association of Independent Institutions tournament for the first time in its four-year history.
"I don't like to think one season defines the player I was, but it is what it is," Longoria said. "You just move on and remember what good you did."
The Jaguars will have pleasant memories of their final game of the season.
They spotted the Generals (12-32) a 6-0 lead before scoring nine runs in the fifth inning and five runs in the eighth.
"We knew they were a little shallow on pitching," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "We were kind of disappointed falling behind like we did. We're coming off playing the (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) Islanders and we saw good pitching. Our guys become dominant hitters after that."
UHV had 15 hits, including eight in the fifth when it sent 14 batters to the plate.
Corti Wilson hit a three-run double, Andrew Thibodeaux had an RBI triple and Chad Kruse, Ryan Suescun and Josh Ledesma each had run-scoring singles in the inning.
"We had to get that inning to change things around," Wilson said. "I just wanted to finish on a good note because in the beginning of the season we started off kind of slow.
"We picked it up in the last couple of games. We worked hard to get a head of steam for next year."
Brayden Blanton worked 3.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win before Clayton Fowler, Nick Huff and Hoke finished the game.
"I never want to see anybody quit ever," Puhl said. "I want the effort because I have a deep love and respect for the game of baseball and I expect to move that on to them too. When they come here, they play hard. I did see that."
UHV 15, LSUA 6
LSUA 060 000 000 - 6 12 3
UHV 000 190 05x - 15 15 2
James Ott, Stefan Porche (5), Zachary Christ (5), Josh Palmer (8) and Troy La Borde. Zack Moya, Brayden Blanton (2), Clayton Fowler (6), Nick Huff (6), Creighton Hoke (9) and Brandon Bohanon, Mark Macias (9). W: Blanton (3-5). L: Porche (0-1). HR: (LSUA) Derek Goyne (3-run). 3B: (UHV) Andrew Thibodeaux. 2B: (LSUA) Justin Crowell, Porche; (UHV) Corti Wilson. Highlights: (LSUA) Goyne 2 for 3, HR, R, 3 RBIs; Porche 3 for 6, 2B, R; Justin Crowell 1 for 2, 2B, R, RBI. (UHV) Chad Kruse 3 for 5, R, RBI, SB; Ryan Suescon 3 for 5, 3 R, 2 RBIs; Creighton Hoke 2 for 5, R; Wilson 2 for 4, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBIs, SB; Andrew Thibodeaux 1 for 3, 3B, 2 R, RBI; Bohanon 1 for 3, 2 RBIs. Records: LSUA 12-32; UHV 20-29.