March 20, 2012

Islanders Stumble Against UTPA in Doubleheader

EDINBURG, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team suffered a pair of non-conference setbacks on Tuesday, losing 11-1 and 11-9 against Texas – Pan American on the road.

The Islanders fall to 10-12 overall, while UTPA improves to 11-1 on the year. Starter Trevor Foss suffered the setback in game one to move to 0-3 on the year. In game two, Jake Dziubczynski got the start and also was tagged with the loss to move to 0-2 this season.

After a tough first game, the Islanders were looking for redemption in the nightcap.

Jeramie Marek led off the second game with a triple on the first pitch, and came home on a Drew Vest sacrifice fly to right for an early 1-0 lead.

The advantage was short lived however, with UTPA plating three runs in the bottom half to take the 3-1 lead.

The Islanders tied it up in the third inning with a pair of runs as Vest got things started this time. After an Eric Weiss walk, Kyle Danford singled on the infield to load the bases with no outs. Stafford Brantley followed by hitting into a double play, scoring Vest and moving Weiss to third with two outs in the inning. Omar Garcia came through with an RBI single to plate Weiss and make it 3-3.

The score remained the same until a bizarre scene during the bottom of the fourth inning. The Broncs had already scored to take a 4-3 lead, but on a play where left fielder Jordan Lee appeared to make the catch to end the inning, the umpire called no catch. Lee was jogging towards the dugout when the players were made aware of the call, and that delay allowed two runners to score on the play. UTPA would add one more to make it 7-3.

The Islanders scrapped back into it despite the setback, plating three runs in the next half-inning to make it a 7-6 game.

Danford opened the inning with a double, and Brantley followed with a single to the outfield to put runners on the corners. Garcia followed the pair with a double down the right field line to score Danford and put runners at second and third.

A Lee ground out would score Brantley and move Garcia to third. Brad Porras followed with a walk ahead of a Dan Sciantarelli sacrifice fly to the outfield to score Garcia and make it a one-run game.

UTPA added a run in the bottom of the sixth that made it 8-6, and another two runs in the seventh made it a 10-6 advantage.

In the top of the eighth, the Islanders pushed across three more runs to close the gap to one run.

After the first out of the inning, Marek doubled to right. The next batter lined out to put the Islanders in a tough spot with two outs. Marek ended up scoring when Weiss reached and advanced to second on an error. Danford followed with a hit-by-pitch and Brantley walked to load the bases.

After a second pitching change in the inning, this time with a 2-0 count to Garcia, the Islanders designated hitter laced a single to left that brought home Weiss and Danford to make it 10-9. Lee nearly gave the Islanders a lead with a ball hit to third, but the UTPA third baseman made a spectacular play to get to the ball and step on the bag for the force out to end the inning.

The Broncs would add an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning, but it would not be needed, as the Islanders were unable to get anything going in the ninth inning.

The first game of the day ended early, as UTPA took an 11-1 run-rule final in seven innings. The Islanders showed signs of life early on, tying the game up at 1-1 in the top of the second, but the Broncs would go on to score 10 more runs, culminating with two in the seventh to invoke the mercy rule.

Next up for the Islanders will be a three-game Southland Conference series against Central Arkansas on the road. It will be games three through five of their eight-game road trip they are started this Tuesday.

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