A pair of strong starts from Chris Cooper and Cole Carter spurred Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to a sweep of rival UTRGV in the South Texas Showdown presented by NavyArmy Community Credit Union.
The Islanders (5-11) claimed game one of Monday's doubleheader, 7-1, behind seven strong innings from Cooper before snagging a 7-6 nightcap behind a solid six-inning outing from Carter.
The doubleheader sweep completed the weekend sweep as the Islanders have now won three straight and four of their last five.
GAME ONE | Islanders 7 – UTRGV 1
Chris Cooper (2-2) provided a second consecutive quality start for the Islanders as the Blue and Green rolled to a 7-1 series-clinching victory over UTRGV (10-7). Cooper tossed seven scoreless frames scattering just six Vaquero hits while fanning four to earn his second win of the season.
The Islanders helped Cooper settle in on the mound with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Nkosi Djehuti-Mes laced a single into right center field, plating Nick Anderson and Dawson Yates who had walked earlier in the frame.
An inning later, shortstop Cullen Jozwiak drove in the first of his three RBI in game one. The senior singled to short, allowing Brett Burner to scamper home.
From there, the score would hold until the top of the eighth when Dalton Stark singled through the left side to score Jozwiak. The Vaqueros had over shifted the left-handed Stark to pull and the freshman rolled his single to short to beat the shift.
UTRGV scored its only run off of reliever Nolan Holland. Austin Siener singled to start the inning and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. After a walk, Chad Romere relieved Holland and induced a trio of pop ups, one a sac fly from Jose Garcia to score the run. Romere worked two scoreless innings to earn his first save of the year.
The Islanders erased any hopes of a UTRGV comeback with a 3-run top of the ninth as the Blue and Green strung together three hits to hang the crooked number. Lukas Hermanson started the frame with a 1-out double to right before scoring on an Itchy Burts two-bagger to left center.
With Burts and Burner in scoring position, Jozwiak beat a pulled in infield with a line drive back into center field for the final two runs of the inning.
>> Brett Burner finished 3-for-3 in the game and scored a pair of runs. Burner also had a double and triple.
>> Cullen Jozwiak drove in three runs in a 4-for-5 effort at the plate.
>> Eight different Islanders recorded a hit while four picked up an RBI in the win.
GAME TWO | Islanders 7 – UTRGV 6
Cole Carter gave the Islanders their third quality start of the weekend as the Blue and Green completed the sweep of rival UTRGV. Carter (1-3) lasted six innings allowing three runs on three hits. The right-hander struck out four Vaqueros in his outing.
Dawson Yates provided two RBI in a 1-for-4 evening to power the Islanders at the plate. Harrison DiNicola added a pair of doubles and an RBI while Cam Boudreaux tripled and scored a pair of runs as the Islanders tacked up seven runs for the second time on the day.
After the first two frames went by quietly, Boudreaux opened the third with a bang as he tripled to dead center. He would score on Itchy Burts' bunt single, one of two hits for Burts on the night. The Islanders added another run on a Yates ground out before hanging up a 3-spot in the fourth.
The Blue and Green jumped on a pair of UTRGV errors to score the three runs. DiNicola started the inning with a double before scoring on a sacrifice bunt. The inning would be capped off by Cullen Jozwiak's bunt single scoring a pair of runs as a throwing error allowed Boudreaux to race around from first.
UTRGV pulled back three runs in the bottom half on a pair of hits and two walks. Back-to-back doubles from Ivan Estrella and Jose Collazo plated a pair of the Vaquero runs.
DiNicola and Yates would add RBI in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively, to cap off the scoring for Corpus Christi. The Islanders would need both of those insurance runs as UTRGV clawed three back in the bottom of the eighth.
Back-to-back walks started the trouble for the Islanders before a double and an error plated the three runs. All three runs, two earned, were charged to Chad Romere who recorded just one out before yielding to David Worrell. Worrell finally ended the frame with a ground ball to second.
The right-handed sophomore would stay on to work the ninth, earning his first save by inducing a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
After the sweep, the Islanders will head to Prairie View on Wednesday before opening Southland play at Sam Houston State over the weekend.