CORPUS CHRISTI – Stafford Brantley's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning led the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Houston Baptist on Wednesday night at Chapman Field. Brantley, Brandon Tierney and Johnathan Gonzales each had two hits in the victory for the Islanders, who improved to 14-11 with the win.
Franco Pace picked up the victory out of the bullpen, and Jacob Dorris stranded the bases loaded in the top of the ninth for his fifth save of the season. Ross Kennell was carded with the loss for HBU to fall to 2-2 on the season.
With the Huskies holding a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth, Gonzales led off the frame by ripping a double off the wall in deep right-center field. He was promptly replaced by pinch runner Kyle Danford with Brad Porras coming to the plate. Porras delivered a grounder to second, but the throw from Josh Foust sailed wide, scoring Danford and ushering Porras to third. Two batters later, Brantley ripped a single up the middle to score his fellow senior and give the Islanders a 5-4 advantage.
In the top of the ninth, Dorris made quick work of the first two hitters, but surrendered consecutive singles to Luke Clements and Jordan McCoy. With Jake Gonzalez at the dish for the Huskies, Dorris fell behind 3-0 and then hit the first baseman with a pitch to load the bags with two down. The closer then fell behind Samm Wiggins 2-0, but got back-to-back strikes before inducing a game-ending flyout to send the Islanders home victorious.
The Huskies outhit the Islanders 14-9 in the contest, with three hits apiece from Mike Chamberlain and Foust. HBU also got multi-hit outings from Clements, McCoy and Curtis Jones in the loss.
The Islanders struck first early in the contest, getting a run in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead. Cody Stephens had a leadoff infield single, and two batters later Eric Weiss drew a walk to put two on and one out. Gonzales then singled up the middle to load the bases, and Porras delivered a sac fly to put the home team ahead 1-0.
The score stayed that way until the top of the third, when the Huskies got a run back on a pair of hits. Foust started with an infield single, then advanced to second on a sacrifice. He came home when Clements ripped one through the right side to make it 1-1.
The Islanders got one back in the bottom of the fourth, with singles by Porras and Brantley and a Brandon Tierney HBP loading the bases. Russell Vaughn then drew a four-pitch walk to score the Islanders' second run and put them back in front, 2-1.
The lead was short-lived, though, as the Huskies roared back with three runs in the top of the fifth. Thomas Casey came on in relief of O'Shea Dumes, who pitched four innings and scattered seven hits in his first-career start. Casey struck out the leadoff man, but followed that with a hit batsman and a single to put two on and one out. He rebounded with a strikeout, but Chamberlain delivered a single up the middle to plate a run and tie the score 2-2. A.J. Longoria came on in relief, but Jones greeted him rudely, knocking home two runs on a single to center to make it 4-2.
The Islanders got one back in the bottom of the fifth, as Weiss drilled a one-out triple to the deepest part of the park in right center. He then came flying home on a wild pitch to trim the deficit to 4-3. The score remained that way until the bottom of the eighth, when the Islanders delivered their decisive runs.
A&M – Corpus Christi will be right back in action on Thursday, as they commence a three-game series with Oral Roberts on Chapman Field. Game one of the series opens at 6 p.m., with games on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (noon) to follow. Live stats and video will be available on GoIslanders.com.