CORPUS CHRISTI (Islanders Sports Information) - The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team picked up a 6-3 Southland Conference win on Saturday, beating McNeese State to even the series at one game apiece. Phillip Garcia set a new Islander single-season record for saves with his eighth of the season.
The final game of the series is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch, with Senior Day festivities set to take place before the game.
The Islanders are now 20-27 overall and 11-15 in Southland Conference games. The Cowboys fall to 19-25 this season, 13-13 in league play. Daniel Minor got the win for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, pitching 7.0 innings and striking out six batters, including the first five of the game, while walking three and giving up three runs to improve to 8-2 on the year.
The game was scoreless through four innings, with McNeese getting on the board first with a single run in the top of the fifth on one hit and one error, while Minor avoided more damage as the bases were left loaded by the Cowboys.
The Islanders responded with three of their own in the bottom of the inning on four hits and two McNeese errors. Drew Vest singled through the left side and advanced to second on an error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt. Jonathan Gonzales followed with an RBI single through the left side to score Vest, and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder. Eric Weiss followed with an RBI double to right center that plated Gonzales for the lead, and came home on a Brad Porras single to center to finish the scoring at 3-1.
McNeese responded with a single run in the top of the sixth, but the Islanders once again added runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Jeramie Marek led off with a walk, and Omar Garcia brought home around to score on an RBI double to right center. After Stafford Brantley came on to pinch run for Garcia, Santiago Ruiz put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third, and Vest singled through the left side to score Brantley for a 5-2 lead.
The Cowboys finished their scoring on the day by adding another single run in the top of the seventh on a hit and a walk in Minor's final inning of work.
Brantley added the final run of the game in the bottom half of the eighth, hitting his second home run of the season over the right field fence to make it a 6-3 score.
Trevor Belicek, Tanner Green and Philly Garcia combined for a scoreless eighth, while Garcia finished the game off in the ninth for the save.
Vest lead the Islanders with three hits on the day, while Gonzales, Omar Garcia and Ruiz each had a pair of hits in the game. Weiss, Porras, Weston Montgomery and Brantley each had one hit apiece to round out the 13-hit performance by the offense. Vest, Gonzales, Weiss, Porras, Garcia and Brantley each had one RBI in the contest.
The final game of the series is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, with Trevor Foss getting the start for the Islanders. McNeese has not decided on a starter for the rubber match of the series.
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--Courtesy Islanders Sports Information Dept.