CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team picked up a big win on Friday night, taking down the UTSA Roadrunners by a 6-3 final at Chapman Field in the first Southland Conference game of the year for either team.
The Islanders improved to 8-7 overall and are 1-0 in league play, while UTSA moves to 8-5 on the year, 0-1 in Southland contests. Adam Hoelscher picked up his second win of the week against the Roadrunners, pitching 8.0 innings while giving up two unearned runs on six hits and five strikeouts to improve to 4-1 on the year.
In a game that saw both teams with credible scoring threats in the early innings, the Islanders struck first, scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth inning to break the scoreless tie. Drew Vest started things off by reaching on an error, but was thrown out when Eric Weiss reached on a fielder's choice. Kyle Danford groundout moved Weiss over to second, and a Jonathan Gonzales single to right center to plate Weiss from second for the 1-0 lead.
UTSA wasted little time rallying, scoring two runs on two hits and an error in the top of the seventh to take a 2-1 advantage.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi responded in the bottom half of the inning, using three singles, along with three walks to explode for five runs in the seventh to grab a 6-2 lead.
Santiago Ruiz and Dan Sciantarelli started it off by drawing walks, and were followed by a Jeramie Marek bunt single to load the bases. Vest followed by working a full-count walk for an RBI to bring home Ruiz to even the game at 2-2.
That knocked the UTSA starter, Casey Sensor, out of the game and brought in Jordan Pacheco in relief. The first batter against the reliever struck out, then Danford lined out to left for a sacrifice fly that brought home Sciantarelli to regain the lead. Stafford Brantley came on to pinch hit and came up big, hitting an RBI double down the left field line to extend the lead. Brad Porras came to the plate and capped off the scoring with a two-RBI single through the right side to make it a 6-2 game.
Hoelscher pitched a scoreless eighth before giving way to Tanner Green. UTSA scored a run in the top of the ninth off of Green, but the reliever closed out the game to give the Islanders the victory.
Marek finished the night 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Vest, Weiss, Brantley, Ruiz and Sciantarelli also scored for the Islanders. Porras finished the night with two RBI, with Vest, Danford, Gonzales and Brantley each having one apiece.
The two teams will play a 3 p.m. game on Saturday at Chapman Field. Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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