CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team struggled to find an offensive rhythm on Friday night as Texas State earned a 6-1 victory to open the Southland Conference weekend series at Chapman Field. The second game of the series will be another 6 p.m. start on Friday, with starters Adam Hoelscher and Colton Turner getting the nod on the mound.
The Islanders are now 12-17 on the season, with a 5-8 mark in league games. Texas State improved to 19-10 on the year, 7-6 in Southland contests. Starter Tim Keller was tagged with the loss, giving up five runs on five hits and five walks with three strikeouts. Keller was cruising early, but struggled after a 25-minute delay caused by the sun setting over the right field fence.
Both pitchers were strong early on, as Keller matched Texas State's Travis Ballew through three innings. The game went scoreless until the top of the 4th, when after the long sun delay, the Bobcats got three runs in the inning to take a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, they added two more runs to extend the lead to 5-0 as Keller was knocked out of the game, and Matt Danton came on in relief. The Bobcats finished the scoring in the sixth with a single run to make it 6-0.
The Islanders struggled to get the offense going on Friday night, managing just four hits while striking out 12 times against Ballew, one of the top pitchers in the Southland Conference.
The only run of the game for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi came when Stafford Brantley led off the eighth with a triple that one-hopped the wall in right center, and came home on a Marc Damon sacrifice fly to center to make it a 6-1 game.
Jonathan Gonzales made his first appearance as a pitcher this year, coming out for the top of the ninth and getting the first two batters before surrendering a bloop single to center field. The Islanders picked off the runner at first to end the inning and send it to the bottom of the ninth.
In the bottom half, the Islanders were unable to get anything going, as Jordan Lee walked and stole second with two outs, but was unable to get any further, as a ground out ended the game.
Game two is set for a 6 p.m. start at Chapman Field. Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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