CORPUS CHRISTI – Head Baseball Coach Scott Malone has signed a contract extension with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi through the 2015 season, Director of Athletics Scott Lazenby announced today. Malone is currently in his sixth season at the Island University.
"Scott runs his program with a tremendous amount of class and integrity," Lazenby said. "In his time here, he has elevated our baseball program to a new level of success on the field while also raising the quality of his student-athletes off it. We always preach the importance of having Islanders student-athletes as well-rounded ambassadors for our university, and our baseball program has lived up to these standards in Scott's tenure."
Malone and the Islanders sit in second place in the Southland Conference with two weekends remaining in the regular season, the closest the team has been to a conference title in program history. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has already clinched a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament, slated for May 22-25 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas. Malone has led the Islanders to three consecutive appearances in the Southland Tournament, a first in program history.
"I'm so grateful to Scott Lazenby and the University administration for the commitment they have shown to our baseball program," Malone said. "With the improvements that our program has experienced to Chapman Field, our locker rooms and many other areas, we can now compete for the top players in the state of Texas. I'm honored that they have expressed their continued faith in me to lead the Islanders to new heights on the diamond."
This season has seen A&M-Corpus Christi post series sweeps of Nicholls and McNeese State, as well as a non-conference trifecta against Dallas Baptist. Sophomore Jacob Dorris has already broken the school record with 11 saves on the season, while on the offensive side, five regulars in the lineup are hitting .307 or better. Cody Stephens has also broken the Islanders' all-time mark with 19 stolen bases this year.
Malone's marquee season came in 2011, when the Islanders went 37-24 and earned the third seed in the Southland Tournament. The squad opened the season 20-8, including a win over No. 6 Texas. The Islanders then heated up again at the close of the season, finishing with 12 wins in its last 13 games to head into the tourney with momentum.
The Islanders followed that up with a solid 2012 season, as Southland Newcomer of the Year Daniel Minor led the team back to the postseason and a first-round upset of top-seeded Sam Houston State in the conference tournament. Minor went on to become the highest draft pick in Islanders history, as he was chosen with the first pick in the ninth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft to the Houston Astros.
Malone came to the Island University in 2008, and led his first team to the Southland Tournament, the first postseason appearance in program history. He saw Coastal Bend products Trey Hernandez and Jeramie Marek earn Freshman All-America honors in back-to-back seasons (2008 and 2009, respectively). In 2010, the Islanders were one of the top offensive teams in the conference, led by Hernandez, who hit 17 home runs and slugged .707.
Prior to arriving at the Island University, Malone spent three seasons at UNLV, overseeing the team's recruiting efforts and hitters. He also spent two seasons each at UTSA and UT Arlington, coaching First Round MLB Draft Picks (UTA's Hunter Pence and UTSA's Mark Schramek) at each stop. Before beginning his coaching career, he was an All-American at TCU, and was recently inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.
The Islanders will play host to their final home series of the year this weekend, as Lamar comes to town for a pivotal three-game series. Friday night's contest will start at 6 p.m., with a Saturday contest slated for 4 p.m. and the Sunday finale at 1 p.m. Tickets are available for just $5, with Islanders' staff, military personnel, youths and seniors receiving admission for just $3. Students of the Island University are admitted free of charge.