CORPUS CHRISTI (Islanders Athletics) - The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team got a big assist from the offense in the series finale on Saturday, with the Islanders earning a 9-3 win over Oral Roberts to win 2-of-3 against the Golden Eagles.
The Islanders (16-12, 3-3 Southland) backed the pitching of Trevor Belicek (3-1), with the lefty getting the start and going 5.0 innings and allowing two runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. The Golden Eagles (9-18, 4-2 Southland) won their first four games of Southland Conference action, but dropped the final two of the series as the Islanders won the series in their first home conference series of the year.
Jonathan Gonzales hit his first ever home run at Chapman Field, going yard over the right field wall as part of a 3-for-4 day with four RBI. Stafford Brantley also added three hits in the game, while Brad Porras and Zach Taylor notched a pair against ORU. Eric Weiss, Brandon Tierney, Russell Vaughan and Brad Lamberti rounded out the offensive output with one hit apiece.
In addition to Gonzales' four RBI, Weiss and Taylor added two, while Brantley picked up one in the game.
Oral Roberts scored first for the second game in a row, getting a leadoff home run by Nate Goro to make it a 1-0 lead.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi responded quickly, plating a run in the bottom of the first to square the score at 1-1. After a pitch hit Cody Stephens, he stole second base and scored on a Weiss double to right center for the 1-1 tie.
The Islanders added three in the third inning, with Gonzales getting the first run of the inning on the board with his drive over the fence in right field to make it 2-1. After there were two outs in the inning, Tierney reached on a hit by pitch and moved to second on a Brantley single. Both runners came around to score when Taylor hit a two-RBI double to right center that made it a 4-1 game.
ORU got a run back in the fourth, but the Islanders answered once again with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth.
Gonzales singles down the left field line and moved to third on a Porras double. Brantley got his only RBI of the day with an infield single that allowed Gonzales to come home to make it 5-2.
The Golden Eagles threatened in the sixth inning, getting two on with no outs, but Adam Hoelscher came on in relief and promptly got a double play and a strikeout swinging to end the threat and preserve the score.
The home team was not done however, adding two runs each in the sixth and seventh to finish the scoring for the Islanders.
Vaughan led off the sixth with a single through the right side and was pinch run for by Jacob Hubert, who advanced to second on a ground out by Stephens. Jordan Lee followed with a walk that put a pair of runners on, and both moved up a base on a wild pitch.
Gonzales followed with another hit, this time a two-RBI single to center that plated both Hubert and Lee to make it 7-2.
In the seventh, Taylor started the inning off with a single and moved to second on a Lamberti single down the left field line. After the Golden Eagles made a pitching change, Stephens walked to load the bases. A fielder's choice eliminated Taylor at home as Lee reached base, and Weiss came through with an RBI on a fielder's choice as the shortstop made an error that allowed Stephens to reach third safely as Lamberti scored.
Gonzales followed with his final RBI of the day, hitting a sacrifice fly to center that plated Stephens and made it a 9-2 game.
ORU scored one in the eighth, but AJ Longoria came on to finish out the game for the Islanders victory.
Next up for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will by a busy week on the diamond. The team is scheduled for a Tuesday matchup against Texas at 7 p.m. in Austin, with the game being aired on The Longhorn Network. They return home and will face the Corpus Christi Hooks in an exhibition game the very next day, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. between the two hometown teams.
From there, the team travels to Thibodaux, La. for a three-game Southland Conference series against the Nicholls Colonels next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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