CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi baseball program (14-8-0, 4-2 Southland) secured both games of a doubleheader against Abilene Christian (10-10, 3-3 Southland) on Sunday afternoon, sealing the team's second consecutive Southland series victory and first pair of home conference wins this season. Despite a resilient performance from the visiting Wildcats across both matchups, the Islanders managed to complete a two-run rally in the opening 7-3 victory before battling off a late comeback bid in the second contest, closing out the win by a narrow 6-5 margin.


KEY INNINGS -- GAME ONE
Bottom | 2nd

- After leading off the frame with a single into center field, Trevor Beard proceeded to work his way around the bases nearly all by himself. The junior initially stole second before advancing to third on a sacrifice hit by Steven Rivera-Chijin, setting Beard up to score on a wild pitch during the next at-bat, good for an early 1-0 lead.

Top | 3rd
- A pair of Wildcat RBI singles partnered with a reach on an error allowed three to come home for ACU, granting them a 3-1 advantage of their own to wrap up the third frame.

Bottom | 3rd
- Thomas Jeffries IV pushed Itchy Burts home from third base on a sacrifice fly, closing the ACU lead down to one run.

Bottom | 6th
- Coincidentally, Beard nearly managed to recreate the circumstances of his opening score later in the sixth, leading off with a double down the left-field line before making his way to third on a deep fly ball by Rivera-Chijin. During the ensuing at-bat, the junior knotted the score at 3-3 on another wild pitch.

Bottom | 7th
- The seventh proved the turning point in the game for the Blue & Green, as the Islanders put together a two-out, four-run inning to clinch the eventual victory.
- With the bases loaded off a fielder's choice and pair of singles, Beard captured his first RBIs of the game on his second double, yet again drilling a pitch down the left-field line as A&M-Corpus Christi surged to a 5-3 advantage.
- Rivera-Chijin followed up with an RBI single of his own, pushing both Beard and Jeffries across the plate for the four-run edge, 7-3.


KEY INNINGS -- GAME TWO
Bottom | 1st

- Opposite of the opening two games against Abilene Christian, the Islanders opted to draw first blood with some quick offense in the rubber match. Enrique Sanchez Jr. got things started with a leadoff double before a pair of sacrifice groundouts from Burts and Nick Anderson plated the senior for a 1-0 advantage.

Bottom | 3rd
- Following a pair of leadoff singles to open the frame, Sanchez continued the trend with one of his own, sending Rivera-Chijin home on a hit to right center.
- Both Sanchez and Cole Fluta (single) came home later in the inning, as Luke Marbach jacked a two-out double down the left-field line for a 4-0 lead through three frames.

Bottom | 8th
- A Sanchez RBI single in the fourth combined with a Beard sacrifice fly in the eighth helped the Islanders to a commanding 6-2 advantage over the Wildcats entering the final half-inning.

Top | 9th
- After Dylan Duarte allowed runners on the corners to open the frame, junior David Worrell entered as relief early in the ninth. The right-hander surrendered three runs total as he locked up two outs on fly balls before dramatically sealing the win behind a swinging strikeout.


ON THE MOUND
- The first game of the day opened with a long performance from starter Leo Perez, who tossed a solid 6.0 frames with three runs allowed on five hits. The sophomore ace also retired six batters on strikes with three walks. Senior Cody LeCompte (1-1) took over in the seventh, pitching for 2.2 innings and earning his first win on the year behind two strikeouts with one hit given up. Worrell wrapped up the final out of the game in his second save of the year, inducing a groundout to the mound and tossing the out to first himself.
- A pair of sophomores -- A.G. Ayala and Zach Rumfield (3-0) -- pushed through the first 5.1 innings of the second matchup, combining for five strikeouts with two runs on five hits. Fellow sophomore John Gaddis entered midway through the sixth, setting down five on strikeouts by himself while giving up just three hits and no runs.
- Duarte took over the start the ninth before turning the game over to Worrell no outs and three batters in, who locked up the victory with two deep fly balls and one strikeout.

COMING UP NEXT
The five-game home stand continues for the Islanders on Tuesday, Mar. 19 as they rematch UT-Rio Grande Valley in the final round of the South Texas Showdown, first pitch against the Vaqueros scheduled for 6 p.m. at Chapman Field.

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