April 19, 2014

Baseball Completes Sweep of Northwestern State

NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Northwestern State with a 4-3 win against the Demons on Saturday at Brown-Stroud Field.

The win kept the Islanders (22-19, 12-6 Southland) in a three-way tie for first place, while Northwestern State (22-17, 10-8) remains in a tie for fourth.

Brandon Tierney notched his fifth straight three hit game, as he 3-for-4 at the dish with one run scored and driven in. He now owns a 12-game hit streak, and has multi-hit games in eight of the last nine with nine RBIs.

In the series, Tierney went 9-of-13 and also had two walks and hit by pitches for a .765 on-base percentage to go along with two home runs and six RBIs.

The rest of the team also reached base at a high frequency against Northwestern State, hitting .311 with a .385 OBP, while having at least one runner on in 29 of the 31 innings.

The bullpen had a fantastic day in the finale for the Islanders, as starter Devin Skapura only went 1 2-3, giving up all three runs on the day, before the pen gave up just three hits and no runs in the final 7 1-3.

Kevin Landgrebe and Jacob Dorris combined to throw hitless and scoreless ball over the final 3 2-3 innings to lock the game up for the Islanders. On the series, the duo went 10 2-3 innings, giving up two hits and no runs, while picking up two wins by Landgrebe to go along with two saves by Dorris.

The Demons jumped out to a quick lead, as in the first they picked up back-to-back two-out knocks to bring around the first run of the game to go up by one. Northwestern State continued to pick up some big two-out hits in the second inning, as it strung together three singles to plate two more runs in the second to jump out to a 3-0 lead, chasing Skapura from the game.

It was Tyler Schnuriger who came on in relief with runners on second and third with still two away, and he came up with a big ground out to keep the Islanders within striking distance.

A&M – Corpus Christi struck in a hurry in the top of the third to chip into the lead, as Jordan Lee and Tierney had consecutive doubles to score the first Islanders' run. Tyler Ware then followed with his fifth triple of the season, which leads the Southland, to bring Tierney in to make it a 3-2 ballgame.

After Schnuriger threw a scoreless third, A&M – Corpus Christi tallied another run in the fourth to tie the game up at three. Frankie Salas got on to start the inning with a single, and then advanced to third on a sac bunt and a groundout. The Demons appeared to get out of the inning, as Cody Stephens hit a grounder to third, but the throw was in the dirt and allowed Salas to come in to score.

After scoreless inning from the fifth through the seventh, the Islanders put the heat on the Demons again, as Russell Vaughan led off the inning with a double to left center. Salas then stepped up and singled through the right side to put runners on the corners with no outs.

After Steven Spann got a strike out of pinch hitter Zack Gibson, Josh Garza laid down a perfectly executed suicide squeeze to bring Salas in to score the run to give the Islanders their first lead of the game at 4-3.

Landgrebe threw a perfect 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth, and Dorris then came on to try to close out the game after a scoreless top half of the ninth.

Dorris got a quick two outs to start the inning, but then got into a jam by hitting the next three Demon hitters. However, Dorris came back to get a pop out to secure the win and pick up his fourth save of the season.

The Islanders will now play their final home midweek series Tuesday against Houston-Victoria before a three-game Southland series with Oral Roberts at Chapman Field.

For updates throughout the season, keep up with the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB), as well as on Facebook (IslandersBSB).