CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team lost an 8-2 final against Southland Conference newcomer Oral Roberts on Thursday night as they fell behind early and the offense was kept off balance by the ORU starter.
The Islanders (14-12, 1-3 Southland) gave up four runs in the fourth inning to Oral Roberts (9-16, 4-0 Southland), and could only plate two of their own the rest of the way while the Golden Eagles totaled eight on the night. Starter Matt Danton (2-1) was tagged with the loss as the sophomore was great early on, but ran into trouble in the fourth inning. In all he pitched 5.0 innings, giving up five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four.
Alex Gonzalez pitched his first complete game of the season for ORU, going 9.0 while allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts to improve to 3-4 on the year.
In the first third of the game, both pitchers were dominant against the opposing offenses, with the Islanders getting just one runner on with a single, while ORU got the one runner on with a walk.
Things started to unravel for Danton in the top of the fourth inning. A single started things off and was followed by a walk. After the first out, two singles and a double followed in order to make it a 3-0 lead. The Eagles followed with an RBI on a bunt to finish the scoring in the inning and make it a 4-0 advantage.
ORU added single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth before the Islanders finally broke through with the first run for the home team. Zach Taylor struck out swinging but reached on a passed ball, but he was eliminated on the base paths when Eric Weiss hit into a fielder's choice. Jonathan Gonzales followed with a towering double to right center field to score Weiss all the way from first and make it a 6-1 game.
The score remained the same until the top of the ninth, with the Eagle plating two more to extend the lead to 8-1.
The Islanders tried to answer in the bottom of the ninth, getting a leadoff home run from Weiss down the right field line to make it an 8-2 score. The Islanders followed with two more hits in the inning, but a double play ended the threat and the game to give Oral Roberts the early lead in the Southland series.
The two teams will once again play at 6 p.m. on Friday night, with Trevor Foss getting the start for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi against Drew Bowen of ORU.
Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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