Eric Weiss Grand Slam Powers Islanders Rally Over Harvard
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team bounced back from a tough weekend with a win on Monday night, overcoming an early deficit to earn a 7-6 win over the Harvard Crimson at Chapman Field.
The Islanders (11-9) fell behind by five runs early, but they were able to rally for two in the fifth and five in the sixth as Eric Weiss came up with the big hit, a grand slam that put his team in the lead. Harvard (1-10) was unable to hold on to the lead, but they did out-hit the Islanders by a 14-13 margin while scoring six runs.
O'Shea Dumes (1-0) came on in relief and picked up his first collegiate win, pitching 3.0 innings while giving up no runs on four hits while walking one and striking out one batter. Matt Danton pitched the final 1.1 innings while giving up just one hit and no runs for the first save of his college career.
Weiss had just one hit for the Islanders, but in the process he extended his hitting streak to 15 games and picked up five RBI, one on a groundout and four on a grand slam that provided the winning margin for his team. Jonathan Gonzales led the team with three hits on the night, while Brandon Tierney, Cody Stephens and Jordan Lee had two hits apiece. Brad Porras, Dominic Lopez and Stafford Brantley each had one hit. In addition to the five by Weiss, Lee and Gonzales had one RBI on the night.
Harvard scored first, getting a pair of runs in the top of the second for an early 2-0 lead.
The Islanders had a golden chance in the bottom of the third, as Tierney, Stephens and Lee picked up singles to load the bases with just one out, but a strikeout and a fly out ended the threat as Harvard held onto its 2-0 lead.
The team loaded the bases once again in the fourth inning, this time with no outs, but a double play and groundout to first base ended the threat.
After a brief sun delay heading into the top of the fifth, the Crimson added three more runs to extend the advantage to 5-0.
The Islanders finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, as Stephens led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lee, advanced to third on a balk by the Harvard pitcher and came home to score on a ground ball by Weiss, while Weiss reached and moved to second on an error. Gonzales followed with an RBI double down the right field line to make it a 5-2 score.
The bases were loaded for a third time in the bottom of the sixth, but unlike the previous two times, the Islanders were able to take advantage by scoring five runs on five hits. Brantley started the inning off with a single to the shortstop, moved to second on a single through the left side by Tierney and the bases were loaded when a pitch hit Russell Vaughan. Jacob Hubert came on to pinch run for Vaughan after he was hit, Lee dropped a single in between three fielders in right center field to make it a 5-3 score.
With the bases still loaded, Weiss stepped to the plate. He hit the second pitch he saw over the right field fence for an opposite-field grand slam that made it 7-5 and gave the Islanders their first lead of the game.
A single run for Harvard in the top of the eighth cut the lead to just one at 7-6, but it would be all they would get as Danton pitched 1.1 inning, getting the final out of the eighth and then pitching a perfect ninth for his first save.
Next up for the team will be four more games in four day, as they travel to Houston – Victoria on Thursday for the final pre-conference game of the year, and then play a three-game series against Sam Houston State on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It will be the first Southland Conference series of the year for both teams.
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