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Angelina College Athletics Weekly Update

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Angelina College Athletics Weekly Update

Angelina College’s basketball teams wrapped up their final homestand on Saturday. The Roadrunner baseball team opened conference play. The Lady Roadrunner softball team went 3-1 against some of the league’s best teams. A Lady Roadrunner basketball player earned her second Player of the Week honor this season.

To top it all off, AC on Saturday hosted “AC Against Cancer,” with four AC teams playing six games – and coming out with six wins on the day. There were ceremonial first pitches from cancer survivors, an induction into the AC Athletics Wall of Honor, Sophomore Day celebrations, a dynamic performance of the national anthem, tiny dancers from the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance and the Diboll High School band on hand to blast the walls of Shands Gymnasium.

Whew. Did we miss anything?

Here’s a recap of the week’s action, along with upcoming events.

Lady Roadrunner Basketball on Verge of Clinching Conference Title

AC’s ladies won two big home games this past week, beating Paris College 87-66 on Wednesday and following up on Saturday with an 85-63 win over Coastal Bend Community College on Sophomore Day at Shands Gymnasium.

With a win in the regular-season finale this Wednesday at Panola College, the Lady ‘Runners will clinch at least a share of the Region XIV conference title – something no Lady Roadrunner basketball team has ever done. Currently, AC (20-9, 12-3) sits a game ahead of Trinity Valley Community College with the Lady Cardinals having two more games to play. A TVCC loss leaves the Lady Roadrunners all alone as league champs; if TVCC wins out, the two teams will share the title.

In the win over Paris College, AC got 18 points from Jade Fry, 17 points and 10 rebounds from Marie Kenembeni, 11 points from Alecia Rivera-Scott and 10 points from India McMahon.

Against Coastal Bend CC, AC’s Amyria Walker – who last week picked up her second Region XIV Player of the Week award this season – led the way with 19 points, followed by Rivera-Scott and Kenembeni with 13 points each and Fry with 10 points.

The Lady Roadrunners take on the Fillies at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Carthage.

Roadrunner Basketball Close Home Schedule on Strong Note

AC’s men shrugged off a tough 75-66 road loss Wednesday at Blinn College, bouncing back with a vengeance Saturday at home against Coastal Bend CC. Eddie Evans and Nehikhare Igiehon each scored 20 points in the win, with Daniel Sanchez adding 15 points.

The Roadrunners (19-10, 10-8) have locked down third place in Region XIV’s South Zone.

The team’s record also gives head coach J.J. Montgomery, now in his third season at the helm, his very first winning season.

The Roadrunners close out the regular season at Victoria College on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Roadrunner Baseball Gets off to Hot Start in Conference Play

The Roadrunner baseball team served notice this week that it plans to be a serious contender in Region XIV play, going 3-1 in the first four conference games of the season.

Wednesday at Navarro College, the ‘Runners earned a road split with the Bulldogs, winning the opener 9-3 before dropping the nightcap by a 10-1 score. In the win, Dalton Mullins drove in three runs, while Sam Hardcastle drove in another two with a pair of doubles. Sean Bazmore, Christian Letendre and Hayden Hupe also added an RBI each. Pitcher Ethan Jezierski earned the complete-game win, striking out six hitters while allowing just four hits and three earned runs.

On Saturday, the ‘Runners pulled off an impressive sweep over Panola College, winning 7-5 and 17-7 at Poland Field. Hupe homered and collected a pair of RBI, Mason Lampe drove in two more and starting pitcher Gabe LeBlanc picked up the win after striking out five in five innings pitched. Brad Burkhardt threw two scoreless innings of relief.

The AC bats got even hotter in the late game, with the team scoring 17 runs on 18 hits. Bazmore and Michael Herndon each homered, with Herndon finishing with five RBI in the game. Mullins and Letendre drove in three runs each, and Bazmore and Jacob Tanguma each added two RBI. Pitchers Hunter Ditsworth and Bebo Hinojosa worked the mercy rule-shortened game, lifting the Roadrunners to 3-1 in conference play.

AC will host two big conference home stands this week: Wednesday against Tyler in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m., and Saturday against Paris College, also at 1 p.m. Both doubleheaders take place at AC’s Poland Field.

Lady Roadrunner Softball Picks Up Three Big Wins

After suffering a 7-1 loss to Navarro College in Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader, the Lady Roadrunners roared back with three straight wins, including an 11-3 win over the Lady Bulldogs in the nightcap followed by Saturday’s doubleheader sweep of No. 19 Tyler Junior College – a team that had already beaten the Lady ‘Runners three times.

In Wednesday’s 11-3 win over Navarro, Riley Davila, Kaetlyn Dunbar and Makenzi Johnson each drove in three runs, with Skyer Martin, River Hulsey, Brianna Collazo and Kayla Olson adding an RBI each. Pitchers Paige Castillo (the winning pitcher) and Madison Johnson teamed up to hold Navarro to just three runs.

Saturday’s home sweep, however, may have been the most impressive wins yet for the young Lady ‘Runners (just three sophomores on the team). AC beat the Lady Apaches 8-5 and 7-3 behind some timely hitting and clutch pitching.

In the 8-5 win, AC’s Makenzi Johnson and Skyler Martin homered, with Johnson finishing the day with three RBI and Martin two. Pitcher Jocelyn Cantu gave up just two earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched, with Madison Johnson keeping the Lady Apaches scoreless over her 2.2 innings of work.

The late game, a 7-3 AC win, saw Martin homer again while driving in another four runs. Davila, Collazo and Lorelei Graham added an RBI each, and Madison Johnson came on in relief of Paige Castillo to pitch 5.2 innings in which she allowed just a single Tyler-earned run.

The Lady Roadrunners (10-17) play at LSU-Eunice in a Wednesday doubleheader scheduled for a 2 p.m. start in Eunice, LA.

Then, on Friday and Saturday, AC’s ladies will be in Mesquite for the Regional Crossover Tournament. (See the full schedule below.)

Powers Earns Wall of Honor Induction

Martha Powers has been a fixture at Angelina College for years, working behind the scenes at the Power Plan to help keep the college humming along.

Her most visible role, however, has been in her work at the official scorer’s table at Angelina College basketball games, where she’s been part of a team one official called “the best scorer’s table in the league” for more than 20 years.

On Saturday, Powers was inducted into the Angelina College Athletics Wall of Honor.

Congratulations, “Darlin’.”

Cancer Warriors Brumley, Berry Throw Out First Pitches

With Saturday’s “AC Against Cancer” events going full blast all day, softball and baseball fans were treated to some examples of real courage.

Daisy Brumley, Director of Student Affairs at AC, and Ashley Berry, a local entrepreneur, threw out the ceremonial first pitches for baseball and softball, respectively. Both ladies have beaten cancer like the Roadrunners and Lady Roadrunners have been beating baseballs and softballs, and their presence at the games provided a huge lift to everyone present.

UPCOMING EVENTS OF NOTE:

Tyler Rayburn Baseball Tribute: Tyler Rayburn was a key (and very popular) part of the Angelina College baseball team for a couple of years. Sadly, we lost Tyler when he passed away in 2023, but the Roadrunner baseball program plans to honor his memory with a tribute tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at Poland Field. The Roadrunners host TCS Post Grad in a doubleheader that day, so the ceremony (including a ceremonial first pitch) will take place before the first game, currently scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.

Softball National Champions 10-Year Reunion: Yes, 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of Angelina College’s only national title: The Lady Roadrunner Softball team’s 2014 national championship. Current plans include hosting a reunion ceremony tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 20, when the Lady Roadrunner softball team will host Blinn College in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. We’ll issue more information once we’ve solidified all the plans.

Region XIV Basketball Conference Tournament Information

This year’s Region XIV Basketball Conference Tournament will take place from March 12-16 at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gymnasium in Tyler. The tourney opens on Tuesday, March 12 with the men’s first round starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 13 features the women’s opening round, also starting at 1 p.m.; Thursday is the men’s quarterfinals round; Friday is the men’s and women’s semifinal round; and Saturday marks the championship games for both women (4 p.m.) and men (7 p.m.). Tournament winner earns an automatic bid to its sport’s respective national tournament (Casper, WY for the women and Hutchinson, KS for the men), and tourney runners-up are virtually guaranteed an at-large bid.

Tyler JC has ticket information available at www.apacheathletics.com/tickets.

Full brackets won’t be available until after the final regular-season games on Wednesday, March 6.

This Week’s Schedule (NOTE: Baseball and softball subject to change with pending inclement weather):

Roadrunner Baseball:

Wednesday, March 6: AC vs. Tyler Junior College, DH starting at 1 p.m. at Poland Field on the AC campus.

Saturday, March 9: AC vs. Paris College, DH starting at 1 p.m., Poland Field.

Lady Roadrunner Basketball:

Wed., March 6: AC at Panola College, 5:30 p.m. in Carthage.

Roadrunner Basketball:

Wednesday, March 6: AC at Victoria College, 7 p.m. in Victoria.

Lady Roadrunner Softball:

Wednesday, March 6: AC at LSU-Eunice, DH starting at 2 p.m. in Eunice, LA.

FridaySaturday, March 8/9: AC at Regional Crossover Tournament in Mesquite, TX. Friday’s schedule: AC vs. Bossier Parish CC, 1:30 p.m.; AC vs. Trinity Valley CC, 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s schedule: AC vs. Kilgore College, 1:30 p.m.; AC vs. Northeast Texas CC, 6:30 p.m.

For up-to-date information on any potential schedule changes, AC fans can visit the Angelina College Athletics website (www.angelinaathletics.com) or follow on social media (@ACAthletics on X/Twitter, or Angelina College Athletics Facebook page.)

For any other information, contact Gary Stallard at gstallard@angelina.edu.

We’ll see you at the games.

Gary Stallard
Email: gstallard@angelina.edu.
Phone: (936) 465-4614

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Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.