CORPUS CHRISTI (CC Hooks) - The Corpus Christi Hooks and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders meet for the first time in an exhibition game at Whataburger Field on Wednesday, April 3, team and university officials announced Thursday.

First pitch is 7:05 and media partner is the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The Hooks begin their ninth Texas League campaign the next night against defending champion Springfield.

"This is a fantastic way for us to kick off the season," Hooks general manager Michael Wood said. "It will be the first opportunity our fans have to see the 2013 Hooks in action. With the way we finished last year - 22 games over .500 - and Keith Bodie returning as field manager, excitement and expectations are high.

"This event also provides a fundraising tool for Islanders Athletics, as a portion of the proceeds goes to their athletics department."

The Hooks, with approval and support of the parent club Houston Astros, continue their commitment to local amateur baseball. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the Hooks annually partner on the Kleberg Bank College Classic, this year featuring Oklahoma, Iowa and New Mexico February 22-23-24.

In addition, Whataburger Field has hosted 80 high school games since 2006.

"The Hooks have been outstanding partners in our community and we're thrilled to have this opportunity," Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Director of Athletics Scott Lazenby said. "This should be a tremendous event for our athletics department, our baseball team and the city of Corpus Christi."

"Our guys are going to be so fired up for this," Islanders head coach Scott Malone said. "Obviously, we've played our fair share of games at Whataburger Field, but to share the diamond with professional baseball players - something all our players dream of being - it's going to be amazing.

"Everybody in the Hooks organization has so much class and we can't be more thankful to them for inviting us to take part in this event."

Hooks and Islanders season-ticket holders will be offered exhibition game tickets at no cost. Single-game reserved-seat tickets, priced at $10 each, go on sale Thursday, February 21, at the Whataburger Field box office and

Game day tickets are $12, grass/berm seating $5.

The Islanders open their 2013 slate with four games on campus at Chapman Field vs. Texas-Pan American February 15-16-17.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has two All-Southland Conference holdovers: senior first baseman Jonathan Gonzales and sophomore outfielder Jordan Lee. Malone, now in his sixth season, returns 15 lettermen and five everyday players from a 24-33 team.