February 21, 2009

ISLANDERS SWEPT BY LOBOS IN DOUBLEHEADER

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team suffered its first two losses of the season on Saturday as they were swept in a doubleheader by New Mexico at Isotope Field. The Islanders fell 4-1 in the first game, before the Lobos won the second game of the twin bill 22-1.

In the opening game, the game was tied at one heading into the bottom of the fifth inning before the Lobos took the lead with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. In the sixth, UNM added its final run.

Trailing 1-0, Martin Parra led off the top of the fifth with a triple. Parra, who had two of his team's six hits in the game, scored on a single up the middle by Jeramie Marek.

The Lobos regained the lead in the bottom of the stanza. Daniel Gonzalez, who had a team-high two hits, doubled with one out off Andrew Toppert and scored on a triple by Mike Brownstein. Brownstein crossed the plate with a sacrifice fly by Dane Hamilton.

New Mexico sealed the win with an unearned run off Jake Liedka in the bottom of the sixth. The Islander defense struggled with four errors in the game.

Toppert suffered the loss for the Islanders in his debut for the team. He allowed three runs on five his, while striking out one. Liedka pitched 2-1/3 innings allowing an unearned run on one hit, while freshman Philip Garcia was perfect in recording the final two outs.

Travis Dirk earned the win allowing one run on four hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. After Will Kerr allowed a hit to the one batter he faced, Cole White and Clinton Cox combined to allow one hit over the final three innings. White fanned three in two innings, while Cox allowed one hit in the ninth with a strikeout to earn the save. UNM pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts.

"Andrew didn't have the outing we expected and we struggled offensively," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We had plenty of chances as we stranded nine batters, but we couldn't get the big hit we needed. Twelve strikeouts is inexcusable."

In the second game, the Lobos led 2-0 after two innings before breaking open the game with nine runs in the third and eight in the third to take a 19-1 lead.

Led by Hamilton's 4-of-6 four RBI performance, New Mexico recorded 22 hits. The Lobos did not homer but had six triples and four doubles. Ten players drove in a run and seven players had multiple hits.

The Islanders scored one run on nine hits. Stephen Flora recorded the only run with a solo home run which was the first of the season by an Islander. The senior catcher had two hits to lead the team.

Brett Carnline suffered the loss in his debut. The righty allowed seven runs with six earned on four hits in 2-1/3 innings of work before giving way to Justin Grota. The senior permitted four runs on two hits and a pair of walks without recording an out. Trevor Foss allowed six runs on five hits in an inning of work before Brett Gibson allowed three runs on four hits in 0-2/3 of an inning.

Andrew Longoria and Bryant Sparkman combined to toss three innings of scoreless baseball. The final three runs were credited to Trey Hernandez.

"The second game got away from us early," said Malone. "They did everything right and we did everything wrong.

"We need to get a good start from Brandon Orr tomorrow and I am confident we can. We need to do everything we can to get the split. We have got to do a job of swinging the sticks."

The Islanders will look to split the series on Sunday in the series finale at 2 p.m. CST.