Baseball Earns Series Victory Against HBU with Finale Win
HOUSTON – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team continued its offensive onslaught Sunday, as it secured a series win with an 11-1 victory against Houston Baptist at Husky Field.
The Islanders (19-19, 9-6 Southland) picked up a season high 20 hits as a team in the finale to run their weekend total to 49 knocks to account for 33 runs in the series against the Huskies (16-16, 6-9). Every starter had at least one hit on the day, with six different Islanders tallying multi-hit games.
In the finale, it was the seven through nine-hole hitters who had an incredible day, as Zack Gibson, Russell Vaughan and Josh Garza combined to go 10-for-13 on the day with five RBIs and four runs scored. Vaughan picked up three of the five runs driven in, as he went 3-for-5, while Gibson scored three runs on a perfect 3-for-3 day.
Garza had his best day as an Islander at the plate, as he picked up a career-high four hits in five at bats, both scoring and driving in a run. Brandon Tierney also had a three-hit game, as he went 3-for-6 with an RBI and run scored as well.
This offensive production was more than enough for A&M – Corpus Christi's starter Devin Skapura, as the freshman went a career-high eight innings, while giving up just one run on nine hits. In his nine games started, the righty has allowed two runs or less in six of those.
After a scoreless first inning, the Islanders got on the board first in the top of the second. Cody Stephens got in with a leadoff double, and advanced over to third on a fly out. He remained at third after a pop up, but Gibson picked up his first hit of the game, with a double to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
Vaughan then added the second run for A&M – Corpus Christi, as he followed with a single up the middle to bring Gibson in to score to make it a 2-0 lead in the second.
However, starter Curtis Jones, who played at third base in the first two games, settled in on the mound, posting four consecutive scoreless innings from the third through the sixth.
During that stretch the Huskies were able to cut the lead in half, as in the bottom of the fifth HBU scored its first run of the game, as a two out single to right center brought in a run to make it a 2-1 game.
After scoring eight total runs in the first two games in the seventh inning, the Islanders offense continued their dominance in that particular inning, busting the game open with seven in the seventh in the rubber match.
Garza started the inning with a double to left field, before coming home on a throwing error by the third baseman who threw away the throw to first. Tierney then reached on the second consecutive error by Clayton Vaughan.
Frankie Salas came up next and was the fourth Islander batter to reach to start the inning, as he singled to center, bringing Jordan Lee around to score to make it 4-1. This chased Jones out of the game, as the Huskies went to another position player, their second baseman Josh Martinez to work HBU out of the jam.
However, he was unable to do so, allowing a run to come across on a passed ball, followed by a sacrifice fly to extend the Islanders lead to 6-1.
This emptied the bases, but Martinez allowed two singles, a walk and a double to the next four hitters, as Vaughan's double brought two runs in to extend A&M – Corpus Christi's lead up to seven.
HBU had to go to its third pitcher of the inning, as Kobie Hajdik gave up a single to his first batter, which scored another run, before finally getting out of the inning, as Vaughan tried to score on a fly out.
After blowing a late lead in the ninth Saturday, the Islanders made sure to add some insurance runs in the top of the ninth, as Lee and Tierney each picked up an RBI to make it an 11-1 game. Tyler Schnuriger then came on in relief of Skapura and set down the side in order to secure the game and series victory for the Islanders.
The Islanders will now have their first midweek off of the year, as they will next take on Northwestern State in a three-game Southland series, starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Natchitoches, La.
To keep up with the action, fans can follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and like it on Facebook (Islanders Baseball).