February 16, 2014

Islanders Shut Out UTPA in Run-Rule Victory to Split Series

EDINBURG, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team came back from a run-rule defeat in its last game to return the favor on Sunday, shutting out Texas-Pan American for a 10-0 win to split the series in Edinburg.

Freshman Devin Skapura had a tremendous career debut, as he picked up the win by going five innings without allowing a run on three hits to go along with five strikeouts.

Seven different Islanders picked up RBIs on the day, as Zack Gibson and Dominic Lopez accounted for half of them, with Gibson picking up three, while Lopez got two of them on one swing on a two-run single in the third.

The Islanders put it just out of the reach of the UPTA defense to start the game, as four of the first five batters in the box reached on a single.

The second single, which was hit by Tyler Ware, brought Cody Stephens around to score. The final one was a chopper up the middle by Zack Gibson to knock Ware in to give the Islanders a 2-0 advantage before the Broncs even stepped up to the plate.

However, when they did get into the batter's box in the first, Skapura set them down in a hurry, as it took him only seven pitches to get out bottom half of the inning.

After a scoreless second, the Islanders' offense got in another rhythm. Jordan Lee got the inning going with his speed, using it to make the shortstop rush on a slow grounder and boot it for an error. He then advanced to third by stealing second and advancing on a Ware groundout.

That was when Gibson singled with the infield pulled in for his second RBI of the game, giving his team a 3-0 lead.

The threat wasn't over for A&M – Corpus Christi, though, as Lopez who had two RBIs in game one of yesterday's doubleheader, added two more to his total with a two-out single to put the Islanders up 5-0 going into the bottom of the third.

The offense wasn't the only thing rolling early on for the Islanders, as they flashed the leather in the bottom half of the third. Skapura showed he could do more than just throw, as he hustled off the mound on a nicely executed bunt and gunned it to first for the out.

Stephens then made a spectacular play of his own as sprawled out on a grounder and flipped it to first for the out, keeping the Islanders up by five a through three.

With Tanner Dickerson coming on to relieve starter Matt Daniels in the top of the third, he combined with Skapura to give up no runs and only one hit over the next two innings.

However, after he departed with the bases loaded and two outs, the next UTPA pitcher didn't fare so well, as Logan Landon came on and hit Danford and walked Gibson without recording an out to put the Broncs down seven.

A third pitcher came on, as he gave up a single before finally getting out of the inning to extend the Islanders' lead to 8-0.

In the seventh, Stephens knocked in his first run of the season before a sac fly by Jordan Lee put the Islanders up by 10 before Jacob Dorris came on to throw a perfect bottom of the seventh to secure the run-rule victory.

This finished off the series with each team taking two. However, someone will be crowed the winner of the overall season series between the two teams later in the year with three games still left to be played between the two teams. They will play a doubleheader at Chapman Field on March 18, before closing out their series back in Edinburg with a single game on April 2.

But for now, the Islanders will look ahead to their next opponent, as they will have a big midweek game on Tuesday, as they travel up to Austin to take on Texas at 6 p.m. with a nationally televised audience, with the game being shown on the Longhorn Network.

To keep up with the team throughout the season, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and Facebook (Islanders Baseball).