NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team tied a season high in runs, and set a new high in hits for the year with 17 as they defeated the Northwestern State Demons by a 13-5 final on Saturday. The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, with it being moved up due to the threat of rain.
The Islanders improved to 14-20 overall, and 7-10 in Southland games. NSU is now 14-18 this season, 10-7 in league play. Adam Hoelscher did not have his best performance of the season, but he battled for 5.2 innings, giving up five runs on 1- hits with one walk and one strikeout. Tanner Green pitched 2.1 innings, giving up just one hit while striking out two, while Jonathan Gonzales and Franco Pace came on to close out the ninth.
Jordan Lee had a 4-for-5 day at the plate with two RBI, while Gonzales and Santiago Ruiz each had three hits on the day. Eric Weiss had a very efficient day at the plate, going 0-for-0 with a sacrifice fly and five walks in the game while scoring three runs and driving in one. Stafford Brantley and Weston Montgomery also had multi-hit games with two apiece.
In addition to Lee, Brantley, Jeramie Marek, Ruiz and Trevor Belicek each had two RBI in the game. Lee, Drew Vest, Gonzales and Brantley each scored two runs, while Marek and Montgomery scored one run apiece. The 17 hits for the Islanders were the most in a game since the team had 18 against New Mexico on February 20, 2009.
In the first inning, Lee, Vest and Gonzales started things off with singles to load the bases. Brantley followed by getting hit by a pitch to make it a 1-0 game. Weiss followed with a sacrifice fly to right, making it a 2-0 score.
Marek reached on an error by the shortstop that allowed Gonzales to score, and was followed by an error on the third baseman that allowed Ruiz to reach and loaded the bases for the second time in the inning. Belicek came through with a big two-RBI single to right that brought home Marek and Brantley, making it a 5-0 game after the top of the first.
The Demons quickly responded however, plating three runs to make it a 5-3 game after one complete inning.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi added to their lead in the second, scoring four more runs to extend the lead to 9-3. The inning started with Vest reaching and advancing all the way to third on a throwing error. Gonzales followed with a hit by pitch to put runners on the corners. Brantley then came through with an RBI single to right to score Vest.
After the Demons changed pitchers for the second time of the game, Brantley stole second to put runners on second and third, and was followed by a walk to Weiss that loaded the bases. Marek came up with a two-RBI single to left, scoring Gonzales and Brantley.
Ruiz followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Weiss to third and Marek to second. Back-to-back walks to Montgomery and Lee forced in Weiss to finish the scoring and make it a 9-3 game.
Northwestern added a run in the fourth to bring the score to 9-4, but the Islanders would add more in the sixth.
After three straight innings without a run, the Islanders put one on the board in the sixth. Ruiz singled to start the inning, but the momentum looked like it was gone after a double play. Montgomery then singled and Lee followed with an RBI double down the left field line to make it a 10-4 game. Two wild pitches by the new Demons pitcher allowed Lee to move to third and then score to make it 11-4.
The Demons added one run in the bottom of the sixth, but Texas A&M – Corpus Christi responded with one of their own in the seventh to make it a 12-5 lead.
Weiss walked and advanced to second on a groundout before Ruiz followed with an RBI double to score the runner from second.
The Islanders added one more run in the ninth, with Weiss drawing a two-out walk, and Ruiz coming through with his second straight RBI double to score Weiss from first, making it a 13-5 score.
In the ninth, Gonzales came on to pitch and struck out the first batter of the inning before Pace came on to get the final two outs of the inning to finish the game.
The final game of the series will feature Daniel Minor and Andrew Adams on the mound for their respective teams.
Live stats and start time updates will be available for the game by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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