CORPUS CHRISTI – Sophomore Trevor Belicek pitched a complete-game one-hit shutout to lead the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team to a 3-0 victory over Central Arkansas on Saturday at Chapman Field. Belicek carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning, and surrendered just two walks and two hit batsmen in the win.
With the victory, the Islanders returned into a first-place tie in the Southland, joining Stephen F. Austin and Southeastern Louisiana atop the league at 9-5. The Bears fell to 27-10 overall and 7-7 in the league with the defeat.
Belicek delivered five 1-2-3 innings and did not allow a runner past second base until the ninth. Chris Townsend was the spoiler for the Bears, as he earned a 2-1 count to lead off the final frame, and shot a single back up the middle to break up the no-no. The southpaw rebounded, though, getting the next two batters for the first two outs, then completed the game two batters later on a grounder to first. It marked the first shutout of the Uvalde, Texas, native's career.
Eric Weiss and Johnathan Gonzales each had two hits, while Gonzales, Zach Taylor and Brad Lamberti delivered RBI singles in the win. Eight of the nine Islanders hit safely in the contest against Jeffrey Enloe, who surrendered 10 hits and one walk in eight strong innings for UCA
The Islanders got all the offense they would need in the bottom of the first. With two down, Weiss got the rally started with a bunt single down the third base line. Gonzales followed with a chopper on the right side that found its way into no-mans land and resulted in an infield single. Taylor came up next, and ripped a grounder off the glove of a diving Garrett Brown at third to bring home Weiss and make it 1-0 in favor of the home squad.
Belicek was perfect through the first two, but lost his perfection in the third when he hit eight-hole hitter Justin Treece with a pitch. In the fourth, he surrendered a walk to Blake Marchal, but quickly negated him with a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Johnathan Davis. He also surrendered a walk, this one to Michael Marietta, in the fifth, but emerged unscathed.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Islanders added an unearned run to double their lead. Cody Stephens led off by reaching on an error, then advanced to second on a stolen base. Brad Porras and Weiss were then retired in succession, but Gonzales ripped a single to left center, plating Stephens for a 2-0 advantage.
Belicek cruised through the next three innings, setting down the Bears 1-2-3 in each frame to carry his no-hitter into the ninth. Meanwhile, his teammates added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, again rallying with two outs. Jordan Lee started things with an infield single, and Kyle Danford then reached on an error to set up Lamberti. The catcher rose to the occasion, ripping an RBI single to left field to push the lead to 3-0.
The teams will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday, with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. on Chapman Field. Matt Danton will take the hill for the Islanders, while Bryce Biggerstaff will toe the rubber for UCA. Live stats and video will be available on GoIslanders.com and updates will be provided on Twitter (@CorpusBaseball).