CORPUS CHRISTI (Islanders Athletics) - The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team could not get the offense going early on, but a five-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth inning pushed the team to victory over Houston – Victoria on Tuesday evening.
The Islanders (23-17) managed just two hits until the sixth, but the pitching staff kept them in the game. Adam Hoelscher (2-3) earned the win, going 1.0 inning while giving up one hit and striking out two batters. Dalton D'Spain, Tim Beard and Jacob Dorris combined to give up just one hit over the final three innings while striking out four UHV (19-21) batters.
Jordan Lee had a 3-for-4 night at the plate to go along with one RBI, while Eric Weiss and Zach Taylor added two hits apiece. Cody Stephens and Brad Porras rounded out the nine hits for the team with one apiece. Weiss had a team-high two RBI, while Taylor, Stephens, Jonathan Gonzales and Brandon Tierney also added one each on the night.
Offense for both teams started off slowly while the game moved along briskly, seeing zeros on the board through the first four innings. It was not until the fifth when UHV scored one run on two hits for a 1-0 lead that either team broke through.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Islanders plated five in the bottom of the sixth to take control.
After a pop out made it one down in the inning, five straight batters reached base as the home team earned the lead. It started with a Taylor walk, and Stephens brought him all the way around from first with an RBI triple that was crushed to left center. Weiss followed with a single to left center to score Stephens, and he then stole second ahead of a Gonzales walk. Lee came up with an RBI double down the right field line to score Weiss and move two runners into scoring position, and Tierney followed with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Gonzales while Lee moved up.
After UHV made a pitching change to try to extinguish the fire, a pitch hit Kyle Danford to put runners on the corners. The next play was a bizarre one, as Danford intentionally took off early to draw a throw and was caught in a rundown to allow Lee to break for home. Once Lee decided to go, a late throw came from the shortstop and the catcher was ruled to have obstructed Lee's path to home and he was ruled safe on what went down as a double steal.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi added two more in the bottom of the seventh as Brad Lamberti was hit by a pitch that hit him in the face and drew blood, but he stayed in the game and took first base. He advanced to second on a walk to Taylor, and both runners moved up on a Stephens' sacrifice bunt. Jacob Hubert then came on to pinch run for Lamberti, and he scored on the next play as Weiss hit an RBI single to right center to make it 6-1 while Taylor moved to third base. Gonzales followed with a sacrifice fly in foul territory down the right field line for a 7-1 lead.
The final run came in the bottom of the eighth, with Porras placing a single between two fielders in left center, moving to second on a ground out and coming around to score on an RBI single up the middle by Taylor.
Dorris, who was named to the NCBWA Mid-Season Stopper of the Year Watch List earlier in the day on Tuesday, came on and gave up a single to start the ninth before getting two strikeouts and a groundout to end the game.
Next up for the Islanders will be a big road series at Southeastern Louisiana. The two teams are tied for second place in the Southland Conference, just one game behind Stephen F. Austin atop the standings. The teams will play at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and round out the series with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday afternoon.
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