April 26, 2013

Opportunistic Lions Down Islanders, 5-2, in Series Opener

HAMMOND, La. – Jesse Burratt had two hits and drove in three runs as Southeastern Louisiana used opportunistic hitting to topple the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team 5-2 on Friday night. Four of the five runs from the Lions were unearned, as the home squad made the most of the Islanders' two errors.

Brad Porras went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while Cody Stephens and Russell Vaughan each had a pair of hits for the Islanders. Eric Weiss, Johnathan Gonzales and Stafford Brantley each had singles for the visitors, who had 10 hits in the game – seven with two outs. Buratt, Sam Roberson and Jameson Fisher each had two hits in the contest for Southeastern.

Trevor Foss picked up a tough-luck loss for the Islanders, surrendering six hits and three walks in seven innings. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned. Andro Cutura collected the win for the Lions, scattering 10 hits over 7 2/3 innings, punching out four and allowing two earned runs. Mason Klotz notched the save with 1 1/3 perfect frames.

The Lions struck first with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first. Kyle Cedotal drew a leadoff walk and then Ben Hernandez reached on a catcher's interference that proved costly. After a groundout moved the runners into scoring position, Roberson chopped a ball over Brandon Tierney's head at third to score both runners and give the Lions a 2-0 lead.

The pitchers settled in after that until the top of the fourth, when the Islanders cut the lead in half. Porras started the rally with a two-out single, and Stephens followed with a single to right center to send him to third. Brantley fell behind 0-2, but took an outside pitch and sent it through the left side to score Porras and make it 2-1. Tierney followed and ripped one down the left-field line, but it was just foul, and Cutura bounced back to get him on a foulout to end the rally.

In the sixth, the Islanders tied it up. Weiss led off the inning with a single, then advanced to second on a JGonzales groundout. Porras followed with a chopper up the middle, and Weiss motored around from second to make it a 2-2 ballgame.

But the Lions came right back with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Fisher started things with a single, then motored around to third on a hit-and-run single by Roberson. The catcher was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double, though, for the first out, and Foss rebounded with a strikeout of Harry Slade for out number two. But Buratt dribbled a single over the mound and Fisher came home to give Southeastern the lead back.

The Islanders rallied in the eighth, getting two-out singles from Porras and Gonzales, but Klotz came on to put out the fire with a groundout. In the bottom of the frame, the Lions added two more unearned runs, as Buratt's single past a diving Porras inside the first-base bag made it 5-2. Klotz finished off the visitors 1-2-3 in the ninth to cement the victory.

The two teams will finish up their series with a doubleheader on Saturday, scheduled for a 2 p.m. start on Alumni Field. Trevor Belicek will toe the rubber in game one for the Islanders, while Matt Danton gets the ball for game two. Live stats and audio for both games will be available on GoIslanders.com.