CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team picked up a dramatic walk-off win in the first game, and came back to win more comfortably in the second as they took a pair from Nebraska Omaha by 3-2 and 7-2 finals to finish the weekend at Chapman Field.
The Islanders are now 3-1 on the year after splitting the first two games against the Mavericks yesterday, and then coming back for the Sunday sweep to open the year. UNO is now 1-3 on the season after the season-opening series.
In game one, Trevor Foss cruised early, but gave up the tying runs in the fifth to even the score at 2-2. Tanner Green came on in relief, pitching the final two innings to pick up the win and move to 1-0 on the year. Jake Dziubczynski started game two, but ran into trouble in the fourth, as the Islanders used five pitchers in the game as freshman Matt Danton earned the victory in relief to improve to 1-0.
The first game saw a scoreless affair until the fourth inning, when the Islanders plated two to take the first lead of the contest. Eric Weiss, getting the start behind the plate, led off with a double down the left field line and Brad Porras walked to put runners on first and second. A fly out by Bobby Buckner to right allowed Weiss to move to third and put runners on the corners.
The first run came in a somewhat unconventional way, as Weiss came home on a balk call that also moved Porras to second and made it a 1-0 contest. Weston Montgomery then singled down the right field line for his first RBI of the year, with Porras rounding third and crossing the plate for a 2-0 margin.
The advantage was short lived however, as Foss ran into trouble in the next half-inning, giving up two runs on four hits to get knocked out of the game. Reliever Franco Pace came in and extinguished the rally; striking out the only batter he faced to preserve the 2-2 tie.
The score remained the same until the bottom half of the seventh inning. Due to the doubleheader, the first game was only scheduled for seven innings and the Islanders looked to keep it from going into extras. The frame started off with Sciantarelli walking and moving over to third on a Kyle Danford double to put runners on second and third with no outs. That brought Jeramie Marek to the plate for what would be a walk-off single to center field over the head of the fielder. Sciantarelli came home to immediately end the game in a 3-2 final for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
Game two saw significantly more scoring that any of the previous games, as the Islanders grabbed an early lead after scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Sciantarelli got the rally going in the first, singling through the right side and moving to second on a walk issued to Weiss. Buckner followed with a single to center that scored Sciantarelli and moved Weiss to second base. Buckner the used his speed to beat out the throw at second to load the bases as Danford reached on a fielder's choice. Marc Damon then drove in his first run of the year on a fielder's choice, bringing home Weiss with the RBI while an error on the second baseman brought in Buckner to make it a 3-0 game.
UNO finally answered back in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs on four hit and one error to make it 3-2, but the Islanders once again answered with three more runs to make it 6-2.
Santiago Ruiz started things off with a single up the middle, but was eliminated when Drew Vest put down a failed sacrifice bunt attempt that kept just one runner on first. Marek followed with a single to move Vest to second, then Sciantarelli grounded out to first, which moved each runner up a base.
Weiss reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases as the UNO pitcher looked Vest back to third base instead of getting the out at first, and then the floodgates opened. Buckner walked to bring in Vest for an RBI, and Danford followed with a single up the middle to plate two runs and make it a 6-2 game.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi added one more run in the sixth, as Stafford Brantley walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then advanced to third on a putout, while also coming home on the same play, courtesy of an error by the pitcher.
That finished the scoring at 7-2 and put the Islanders firmly in control. Dziubczynski got the start in the game and pitched well early on before running into trouble in the fifth. Four Islander relievers came on and combined to give up just one hit in 4.2 innings of work while striking out three and walking none.
For the Islanders, Danford, Marek and Buckner each picked up two hits on the day, while Vest, Sciantarelli, Weiss, Ruiz, Montgomery and Omar Garcia each had one. Danford and Buckner had two RBI, while Marek, Montgomery and Damon had one apiece.
Next up for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will be a Tuesday evening match against Houston at Cougar Baseball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with the Islanders and the Cougars squaring off in the only game this season between the two teams.
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