HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team staged another late-inning rally on Sunday afternoon, closing to within one in the seventh inning before Sam Houston State answered and eventually earned a 5-3 final in the series finale.
The Islanders (13-11, 1-2 Southland) lost the series against the Bearkats (12-11, 2-1 Southland) in the first Southland Conference weekend of the year for both teams. Adam Hoelscher (1-3) took the loss for the Islanders, pitching 6.0 innings and giving up three runs on just four hits while walking five and striking out three.
The Bearkats picked up a run in the bottom of the first and added two more in the fourth to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Islanders were unable to get on the board until the to of the seventh, getting two runs on two hits to close the gap to 3-2. Jonathan Gonzales led off with a single and moved to third on a Brad Porras double down the left field line to put runners on second and third with no outs. Kyle Danford walked to load the bases, and Dominic Lopez followed with an RBI on a fielder's choice to make it 3-1, with Gonzales scoring, Porras moving to third and Danford being forced out at second. Russell Vaughan came on to pinch hit and got an RBI with a sacrifice fly down the left field line in foul territory, scoring Porras to make it a one-run lead.
The Bearkats responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning however, pushing the lead back to three runs heading to the eighth.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi threatened in the ninth, scoring a run and leaving two on when the game ended. Porras led off with a single to center field and moved to second on a Danford Walk. Porras advanced to third with Jacob Hubert hit into a fielder's choice that move Porras to third, and then Porras came home to score on another sacrifice fly by Vaughan to make it 5-3. Stafford Brantley singled to keep the inning alive, but a fly out ended the game with the tying runs on base.
Porras and Brantley each finished with two hits on the day, while Vaughan had two RBI and Lopez added the other RBI for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. Eric Weiss and Gonzales were the only other two players to record a hit for the team.
Next up for the Islanders will be a midweek game against future Southland Conference member Houston Baptist. The Huskies will travel to Corpus Christi on March 27 to play in a 6 p.m. contest at Chapman Field.
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