Small college notes: Tarleton St. baseball begins conference play ranked No. 18

02/27/2014 6:47 PM

11/12/2014 4:06 PM

The Tarleton State baseball team begins its defense of its 2013 Lone Star Conference regular-season championship on Friday against Eastern New Mexico.

The Texans open conference play ranked for the first time in the National College Baseball Writers Association Top 25 poll. The No. 18-ranked Texans (9-3) have dominated the series with the Greyhounds (10-2) of late by winning the last 13 meetings in the series, including five in 2013.

Tarleton coach Bryan Conger said the four-game series is important to build momentum.

“We just need to make sure we come out and play our game,” he said. “It is big for this club. It is a young club and will be a lot of these guys’ first go around. They need to not put too much pressure on themselves.”

Eastern New Mexico brings the league’s best offensive lineup into Stephenville, averaging 8 runs in 12 nonconference games. The Greyhounds also lead in batting average, hitting .351 compared with Tarleton’s .346.

Countering ENMU at the plate is a contingent of Texans who have helped the offense succeed in the early season. Luke Slentz is second in the conference with a .533 batting average and Kevin Meredith has knocked in 14 RBIs to lead the LSC.

The Texans and Greyhounds begin their series at 3 p.m. Friday. The teams resume on Saturday with a seven-inning doubleheader. The series concludes with a nine-inning game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Texans close season

The Tarleton State men’s basketball team closes its regular season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Texas A&M-Commerce, looking to earn the outright Lone Star Conference regular-season championship.

Tarleton State (24-1, 12-1 LSC) leads Midwestern State by a game heading into the finale, already earning at least a share of the team’s third conference championship.

Tarleton is assured of at least one of the top two spots in the Lone Star Conference tournament that begins Wednesday in Allen.

Rams face must-win

Texas Wesleyan men’s basketball closes out the regular season when it travels to Wayland Baptist University at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Rams (15-14, 7-11 Sooner Athletic Conference) sit in eighth and are just one game ahead of Oklahoma Baptist for positioning in next week’s conference tournament in Shawnee, Okla. OBU takes on last place Southwestern Christian to close out its schedule.

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