CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team got a big effort from its offense on Sunday afternoon, with the team producing 12 runs on 13 hits to give the Islanders a 12-7 win over UTPA to close out the four-game series. The team went 3-1 against the Broncs to start the year off on a high note as Eric Weiss led the way, going 2-for-5 with five RBI in the game.
Both teams produced double-digit hits, with UTPA getting 10 on the day as both pitching staffs went deep into the bullpen to use five pitchers a side. Adam Hoelscher got the start and the win for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, pitching 5.0 innings and giving up four runs, three of them earned, on six hits while striking out three and walking none. AJ Longoria, Dalton D'Spain, Seth Horton and O'Shea Dumes made their Islanders debuts in the win.
Things started out slow for both teams with no indication of what was yet to come, as both teams were held scoreless in the opening inning, although the Islanders threatened with two runners before UTPA worked out of the jam.
The home team got on the board with a single run in the second inning as Brad Lamberti registered a solo home run, the first hit of his Islanders career, to make it a 1-0 lead.
Two runs were added in the third, with Jordan Lee drawing a leadoff walk and moving to second on a Cody Stephens sacrifice bunt. After Lee moved to third on a wild pitch, he came home on a Brad Porras RBI double down the left field line. Weiss came up with his first RBI of the game on a single to left that plated Porras for the 3-0 advantage.
UTPA struck back in the top of the fourth, picking up four runs on four hits and a key error to take the lead. The Broncs earned three of the runs, but the error allowed the tying run to score unearned before they gained a 4-3 lead.
The advantage was short-lived however, as Texas A&M – Corpus Christi came back with five of their own in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good. It all started with back-to-back errors to the first two batters, allowing Lee and Stephens to reach and put runners on first and second. Jonathan Gonzales singled to right field for the RBI as Lee came around to score and knotted the game at 4-4.
Porras was hit by a Broncs pitch that load the bases and Weiss got the biggest hit of the day, a three-RBI triple to right center that cleared the diamond and made it a 7-4 score. After a pitching change, Lopez reached on a hit-by-pitch and a fielder's choice by Lamberti and Weiss broke for home after the catcher made the decision to throw to second, coming home for the final run of the inning and an 8-4 lead.
Once again the Broncs responded, picking up two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to two runs at 8-6, but three more runs from the Islanders in the bottom half put the game out of reach.
UTPA made a pitching change with one out in the sixth inning, and Stephens promptly singled to right and stole second base. Gonzales reached on a fielder's choice when Stephens slid in under the tag at third as UTPA attempted to get the lead runner. Porras came up with another double, this time to the opposite field in right, scoring Stephens and pushing Gonzales up to third base. Weiss followed with a sacrifice fly to score Gonzales that advanced Porras to third, and Porras came home on an error by the first baseman on a popup to make it an 11-6.
The Broncs did plate one more run in the top of the seventh, but a bases loaded walk by Lopez finished the scoring in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 12-7 final.
Next up for the Islanders will be the fifth game of a season-opening, 13-game home stand when they host former Southland foe UTSA on Wednesday night. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. at Chapman Field.
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