February 15, 2013

Baseball Unable to Overcome Slow Start in Loss Against UTPA

CORPUS CHRISTI – Sam Street scattered six hits and allowed one run to lead Texas – Pan American to a 7-1 victory over the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team in the season opener for both teams on Friday night. Dominic Lopez and Cody Stephens led the team, with each recording two hits in their Islanders debuts.

Riley Goulding led the way offensively for the Broncs, going 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Alberto Morales added two hits, two runs and two RBI. UTPA totaled 13 hits in the win as six different Islanders pitchers appeared in the game.

Tyler Schnuriger was carded with the loss for the Islanders after surrendering three runs in his four innings of work. Eric Weiss added two hits as well for the home squad, which bounced into three double plays – two of the inning-ending variety – on the night.

The Islanders found themselves in a quick hole, as the Broncs came out swinging in the bottom of the first. Alex Howe started things with a single to lead off the game, and he moved up 90 feet when Schnuriger issued a walk to Dillon Engelhart. Each of the next three batters – Derek Hagy, Aaron Moore and Will Klausing – delivered RBI singles, and UTPA was up 3-0 without the Islanders having recorded an out. But Schnuriger rebounded with a strikeout and an inning-ending double play to stop the damage there.

From there, both pitchers settled in. Neither squad was able to mount much of a rally until the fourth, when Brad Porras got things started with a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning. He then went first-to-third on an Eric Weiss single, and the Islanders put two in scoring position when Weiss swiped second. But Stafford Brantley went down on strikes and Brandon Tierney was retired on a lineout to end the threat.

The Islanders finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. Lopez started the rally with a leadoff single, and he moved to second when a pitch hit Brad Lamberti. After a fielder's choice erased Lamberti to put runners at the corners, Stephens delivered the first RBI of the Islanders season with a single that made it 3-1. But the rally was thwarted when Jonathan Gonzales bounced into a 3-6-3 double play.

The score stayed that way until the seventh, when the Broncs pushed their lead to 5-1. A hit batsman and a walk put two runners on with one out, and Morales delivered the fourth UTPA run with a single up the middle. The Islanders gunned down a runner at the plate for the second out, but Goulding followed that with a double to right center to put the Broncs up four runs before Jacob Dorris got a strikeout to limit the damage.

Texas-Pan American added some insurance in the top of the ninth off Islanders newcomer Thomas Casey. Shane Ammon drew a one-out walk and on the very next pitch, Morales drilled a double to left field that scored Ammon to make it 6-1. He would come home on a Goulding single up the middle that pushed the lead to 7-1.

The Islanders and Broncs will get right back at it tomorrow at Chapman Field, with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Tim Keller will start game one for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, while Trevor Foss is set to go in the second game of the day.

Admission is free for all students at the Island University, and the general public can purchase tickets at the gate or by calling 825-BALL. Live video and stats for the games will also be available on GoIslanders.com.

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