HOUSTON – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team played tough early on, but the No. 4 Rice Owls were just too much for the Islanders as they fell by a 7-2 final at Reckling Park.
The Islanders are now 7-7 on the season heading into the opening weekend of Southland Conference play. Rice moves to 12-2 on the year with the win. Jake Dziubczynski was tagged with the hard-luck loss, giving up just three unearned runs on four hits in four innings. The lefty walked three and struck out three Owls batters. Zech Lemond earned the win after three innings in relief, giving up no runs and two hits while striking out four.
The Islanders had a chance early on, but it was Rice who scored first, picking up three unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning for a 3-0 lead.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi was able to respond with two runs of their own in the very next half-inning. Omar Garcia started things off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a Dan Sciantarelli single to center. Jordan Lee's first hit of the year loaded the bases with no outs.
Jeramie Marek grounded into a double play, but Garcia was able to score on the play to make it a 3-1 contest. Drew Vest brought home Sciantarelli for the second run of the inning to close the gap to one run at 3-2.
Rice pushed across two more runs in both the fifth and seventh innings to take a 7-2 lead.
With the score the same in the top of the ninth, Trevor Belicek led off with a pinch-hit single, but the Islanders were unable to get anything going to end the game in a 7-2 final.
Next up for the Islanders will be a three-game Southland Conference home series against UTSA starting on Friday. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.; with the start time being moved back from the original 6 p.m. start due to the sunset.
Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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