Texas A&M University-Texarkana shared third place in the Red River Athletic Conferece’s baseball race with Our Lady of the Lake University for about three hours Thursday at George Dobson Field.
The Eagles (21-16, 9-5) saw their 5-game winning streak end in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader with Our Lady of the Lake, 5-1. The win gives the Saints (19-17, 10-4) a one-game lead over Texarkana going into Saturday’s series finale.
After routing the Saints in the opener, 15-7, Texarkana managed only one hit out of the infield off winning pitcher Aaron Gonzalez. He finished with a two-hitter and 13 strikeouts in the nine-inning contest.
Our Lady of the Lake scored all the runs they would need with two in the first inning. Two singles and Texarkana’s first and only error in four games accounted for the runs.
“This last half of the season will be week-to-week,” said A&M-Texarkana coach Steve Jones. “This series is a big one. We’ve been hitting the ball better the last three weeks. The guys came out and swung the bats well in the opener. We’re not the same team we were a month ago.”
Pearlman has five hits in twinbill
One big reason for the Eagles’ improved play is Texarkana sophomore Joe Pearlman. The former Pleasant Grove player banged out two doubles and two singles in the opener. He scored three runs and drove in four more. Pearlman wasn’t even expected to play this season because of an injury suffered in 2018. He’s now hitting over .300.
“I plugged Joe into the leadoff spot last week; he took it and is running with it,” said Jones. “We weren’t getting any production up there at the top of the lineup until he took over.”
After falling behind 1-0 early in the first game, the Eagles answered with five runs to capture the lead for good.
Tye Holliday drove in three runs and scored twice with two hits. Cal Pequeno had three hits and drive in three runs. Keone McKee, Cole Chambers and Isaac D’Agostino all had two hits for the Eagles.
Pearlman scored Texarkana’s only run in the nightcap. He singled to center, and raced to third on an errant pickoff attempt. He scored when a dropped third strike was thrown away.
Jake McDonald’s infield hit in the ninth was the Eagles’ only other hit off Gonzalez.