April 24, 2014

Baseball Carries Win Streak Into Series with Oral Roberts

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team brings a five-game win streak into an important Southland Conference series with Oral Roberts this weekend. Game one of the three-game set is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Chapman Field.

The Islanders (23-19, 12-6 Southland), who come into the weekend in a three-way tie for first, are most recently coming off a three-game sweep of Northwestern State, as well as a midweek win against Houston-Victoria.

During its win streak, A&M – Corpus Christi has seen some terrific performances both at the plate and on the mound. Over the last five games, the Islanders boast a team batting average of .332, while averaging 13 hits per game. With 417 hits on the year, the team ranks 27th in the nation and first in the Southland.

Brandon Tierney is hitting .636 during the Islanders' win streak and is in the midst of a 13-game hit streak. He now leads the team in batting average (.368), hits (56), home runs (3), slugging percentage (.520), hit by pitches (12) and on-base percentage (.464). Tierney has also tallied multiple hits in nine of the last 10 games with nine RBIs during that stretch.

On the bump, the pitching staff has compiled a team ERA of 2.39 with opponents hitting .244 against the Islanders. The bullpen has been extremely proficient lately, as Jacob Dorris, Kevin Landgrebe, AJ Flores and Kaleb Keith have combined to throw 17 innings without allowing an earned run, giving up just nine hits during this stretch.

Landgrebe has been literally unhittable in his last four appearances, throwing six consecutive innings of no-hit, shutout baseball, with the only three batters he has allowed to get on coming from two walks and a hit batter. The righty has also picked up three of the Islanders last four wins.

ORU (22-18, 9-9) is also riding a hot streak into the weekend, as it comes in with wins in eight of its last 10 games. The only two losses for the Golden Eagles during the last two and a half weeks have each come by one run, in a 6-5 game to Wichita State, followed by an 11-10 extra-inning affair against Houston Baptist.

During this stretch, ORU has won both of its last two Southland series, with a sweep of Stephen F. Austin before taking two out of three against the Huskies. It also boasts a pair of impressive midweek wins against Big 12 schools, with a 2-0 victory against No. 28 Oklahoma — its second shutout of the Sooners this season — as well as a 15-8 offensive explosion to knock off No. 9 Oklahoma State in its most recent win.

Tyler Boss paces the Golden Eagles' offense and has been on a roll lately, going 8-of-14 with four RBIs in the team's last four games. He is hitting 47 percent above the second-highest batting average on the team, and boasts a .439 average against Southland opponents, which is second in the league.

Corpus Christi native Jose Trevino has been the main power threat for ORU, as he is second in the conference in home runs with seven, to go along with a team-leading 33 runs batted in. He has driven in 18 of those runs during Southland play, which is tied for the most during conference games.

The pitching matchup for Friday's game will feature Matt Danton (5-2, 3.28 ERA) pitching against Guillermo Trujillo (2-2, 3.39). Danton has eaten up a lot of innings on the mound for the Islanders, averaging 6.87 innings pitched per outing. The righty has thrown 68.2 innings this year, which is the fourth most in the Southland.

On Saturday, first pitch is once again set for 7 p.m. with the only scheduled left-hander for either team, Trevor Belicek (2-5, 4.52) throwing against Gavin Glanz (2-3, 2.97). Belicek is coming off one of the best outings of the year, as he set down the first 17 batters he faced in game two against Northwestern State, eventually picking up the series-clinching win against the Demons.

The Islanders have yet to name a starter for the series finale against the Golden Eagles, but it will be a tough pairing for whomever they throw, as the starter will be paired up with ORU's Pepe Gomez (5-3, 2.20). Gomez's earned run average ranks him fifth in the league, while his .214 batting average against is the second lowest in the Southland.

To keep up with the action, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and like them on Facebook (Islanders Baseball). Fans can also watch the game live or follow along with live stats on GoIslanders.com.