ISLANDER BASEBALL BLUE-GREY WORLD SERIES BEGINS FRIDAY

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team will cap off fall practice this weekend with the Second Annual Blue/Grey World Series at Chapman Field.

The series opens on Friday with a 3 p.m. contest with games slated for Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. While the series is best 2-of-3, the teams will play all three games.

The Islander squad was separated into two squads. The Grey team will be coached by former player and current student assistant Chase Wheaton, while volunteer assistant coach Josh Blakley will lead the Blue.

"We let the two coaches of the teams draft the players," said Islander head coach Scott Malone, who will spend the weekend evaluating his players. "At first glance, you would think Chase would have the advantage when it comes to drafting players. A lot of the talk and the hype between the players has been that Blakley had the better draft.

"Personally, think the rosters are pretty even. They can talk all they want, and we'll see who wins and loses."

Offensively, Wheaton's team will be led by returnees Trey Hernandez. Martin Parra, Jake Olier and Jonathan Reyes at the plate. Behind the plate the grey will have three players to count on with Chase and Omar Garcia and Matt Mazzolla, while Mickel Santana and Weston Montgomery will man the middle infield. Reyes will be joined in the outfield by newcomer Chris Famiglietti and Jacob Perez, who is shifting from the bullpen to the outfield.

On the mound, Wheaton will have a handful of veteran relievers in Bryant Sparkman, Brett Gips and Mike Miller to go with returning starter Roy Ferdin. Newcomers Brett Carnline, Phillip Garcia, Trevor Foss, and Ricky Reyna will also see time on the mound.

The Blue team boasts the most experience behind the plate with Stephen Flora and Justin Greiner behind the plate. They will be joined by veteran infielders Ernie Olivarez and Brycen Bell and outfielders Jacob Perales, Cory Blair, and Ruben Flores.

The newcomers will be expected to play a key role as Jeremy Narvaez and Matt Rocha will play in the infield, while Jeremy Marek and Danny Lackner will contribute in the outfield.

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Blakley's pitching staff will have a good balance of veterans and newcomers. Justin Grota is a returning starter, while Brett Gibson, Matt Hudec, Jesse Maldonado and Andrew Longoria return in the bullpen. Newcomers Brandon Orr, Andrew Toppert, Jacob Liedka, and Jared Rothenberg will provide depth and ability on the mound.

"I am excited to see how the players perform," said Malone. "The effort has been there throughout the fall, I am interested to see how they do with competition level turned up and if they are able to maintain a high level of concentration.

"It will bring out the best in them."