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UHV earns berth in NAIA tournament


April 14, 2014 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2014 at 11:14 p.m.

Daniel Benavides, Texas A&M International University catcher, attempts to chase down UHV's Dylan Blaha after he bunted the ball during a March game at Riverside Stadium.

UHV's win over Texas Southern in Houston on Sunday wasn't the only good news for the Jaguars.

UHV learned it has been invited to the NAIA's Association of Independent Institution's tournament scheduled for May 2-5 in Lynn, Mass.

"There's some benefit of having a strong schedule," said UHV head coach Terry Puhl.

The Jaguars got off to a slow start this season, but have won seven of their last nine games to bring their record to 17-22.

UHV has wins over four NCAA Division II schools.

"We know you've got to win ball games," Puhl said. "We've been getting a better combination of pitching, defense and offense. We've been playing more consistently lately."

The Jaguars will be joined at the six-team tournament by the host team Fisher College, which gets an automatic bid, Georgia Gwinnett College, LSU-Alexandria, Lindenwood University in Missouri and Cal State-San Marcos.

The tournament seeding has yet to be announced.

The Jaguars have six games remaining against LSU-Alexandria, which is likely to play a role in the seeding.

Puhl noted UHV has played in 18 games decided by one run and has a 7-11 record in those games.

"It's disappointing that we don't have a better record," Puhl said. "But those are the games that get you more ready for playoff action."

UHV travels to Seguin on Tuesday to play Texas Lutheran University at 2 p.m.

They have home games Wednesday and Thursday against Wiley College and Friday and Saturday against LSU-Alexandria.

Puhl said he will use the rest of the regular season to set up his pitching rotation for the tournament and to make sure his players are healthy.



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