February 18, 2014

Islanders Fall to Longhorns in First Midweek Game

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team was able to string together hits, but were not able to push them across, and Texas took advantage of four Islanders errors in posting a 10-0 win over the Islanders in Austin on Tuesday night in eight innings.

On the night, the Islanders left a total of 11 runners on base in the game and had several costly errors that led to the victory for the Longhorns. In fact, half of UT's first eight runs were unearned.

Southpaw Trevor Belicek had a solid showing in his first outing of the season, throwing four innings, giving up just one earned run on five hits, while striking out four.

Seven of the nine Longhorns in the lineup recorded hits on the evening, including four of them picking up a pair of hits. Cody Stephens had two hits in a losing effort for A&M-Corpus Christi.

The Islanders had a great opportunity to score in the first inning for the third time in five games, as Jordan Lee stood on third after he singled and Tyler Ware pushed him over with a single of his own and one out.

Kyle Danford, the team's leading run producer early on in the season, seemed to have another as he ripped one to center. With Lee's speed, it looked like he would score, but a strong throw by center fielder Mark Payton made it a close play at the dish, with the umpire calling Lee out to end the inning.

The defense turned into offense for Payton, as he started the rally in the bottom of the first, slicing one just inside the left-field line and barely out of the reach of an outstretched Lee. Payton used his speed to hustle all the way around to third, later scoring on a single up the middle to give the Longhorns a 1-0 advantage after one inning.

After giving up a single and a walk after collecting the first out to start the third, UT's starting pitcher Blake Goins got the quick hook in his career debut. After Stephens and Lee used their speed to advance on a double steal, reliever Josh Sawyer got out a strikeout and groundout to end the threat and preserve a one-run lead for his team.

Facing the same situation in the bottom of the third, Belicek looked as if he had gotten out of a jam with runners on second and third unscathed as well, but shortstop Zack Gibson couldn't secure a twisting popup, and both runs came across to score. The two runs gave UT a 3-0 advantage a third of the way into the game.

In the top of fifth, the Islanders were able to advance runners to second and third yet again, but Sawyer stood tall once more and forced a pop up and groundout to leave two more runners stranded on base for A&M – Corpus Christi.

With his pitch count sitting at 65 through four innings in his first start, Belicek would not come out for the fifth, as Jacob Dorris came in on relief for his second appearance of the season.

The inning started off smooth for Dorris, sitting down the first two batters before the Longhorns starting putting them where the Islanders' defense wasn't. UT strung together five straight hits to go along with two costly errors by the visitors to hang a five-spot in the fifth to go up 8-0.

As they did all night, the Islanders threatened once again, loading the bases with two outs in the sixth before a fly out ended the scoring chance. A&M – Corpus Christi put runners on in each of the first six innings, but were unable to drive any of them in, leaving 10 men on base.

With the score still sitting at 8-0 in the bottom of the eighth, the Longhorns were able to tack on two more runs to end the game on a run rule.

The Islanders get back in action starting Thursday, returning to the Coastal Bend to compete in the annual Kleberg Bank College Classic. A&M – Corpus Christi will matchup for a doubleheader with BYU on Thursday, with game one at 3 p.m. The Islanders will play single games against UTSA and TCU on Friday and Saturday, respectively, to wrap up the tournament. The games against the Roadrunners and Horned Frogs will start at 6 p.m., with all contests being played at Whataburger Field.

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