March 3, 2009

ISLANDERS END SLIDE WITH SWEEP OF BRONCS

EDINBURG – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team snapped a seven-game losing streak on Tuesday night sweeping a doubleheader from Texas-Pan American at Edinburg Baseball Stadium. A&M-Corpus Christi won 13-6 in the opener and 6-2 in the finale.

With the sweep, the Islanders moved to 3-7 on the season. The Broncs remain winless at 0-9.

"You play this game to win and tonight we played well," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We threw strikes, played some very good defense and swung the bats well. We still have a lot of work to do to get ready for Alabama. We need to able to score more runs when we get the opportunity."

In the opening game, Trey Hernandez broke out of a season-long slump going 2-for-2 with two home runs, five runs batted in and three runs scored. Hernandez now has three home runs on the season. Brycen Bell belted the first home run of his career and finished 2-for-3 with three RBI.

The Islanders broke a 0-0 deadlock with five runs in the top of the third. Ernie Olivarez and Weston Montgomery scored the first two runs when Justin Greiner reached on an error. With two outs, Shane Janecka, who suffered the loss, walked three straight batters and reliever Nathan Molina walked another to bring in the final three runs of the inning.

"It was good to see Trey have some really good at bats tonight," said Malone. "Ernie swung the bat better tonight. Those are two players we are really counting on.

In the top of the fourth, the Islanders added two more runs to lead 7-0. Hernandez belted a two-run home run. After the Broncs scored an unearned in the bottom of the fourth, Montgomery drove in a run with a double in the top of the fifth.

Hernandez and Bell each hit home runs in the sixth as the Islanders extended their advantage to 13-2. Hernandez hit a three-run homer, while Bell was of the two-run variety.

Texas-Pan American would add two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings for the final 13-6 decision.

Brandon Orr was the beneficiary of the offense earning his first win as an Islander. The righty pitched five innings scattering six hits. He allowed two runs with just one earned run. Orr struckout five and walked two.

Three relievers followed Orr for TAMUCC. Trevor Foss pitched two innings giving up a pair of unearned runs on four hits. Jesse Maldonado pitched 2/3 of an inning permitting two runs with one earned on two hits. Andrew Longoria closed the game tossing the final 1-1/3 innings without allowing a run.

In the second game, the Islanders fell behind 1-0 before scoring four runs in the third to take the lead and eventually won 6-2.

After Andrew Perez drove in a run in the second for the Broncs with a double, the Islanders broke through in the fourth for four.

Bell led off the inning by reaching on an error. After Hernandez walked, Parra drove in Bell. Perales followed with his first of three doubles to plate Hernandez, while Parra scored on an infield error. Chris Famiglietti's sacrifice fly brought home the fourth run.

The Islanders added single runs in the fifth and sixth. Perales drove in his second run of the game with a double to right-center field in the fifth. Famiglietti added his second RBI with a single that drove in Montgomery.

Perales had three of the team's six hits in the second game.

UTPA's final run was an unearned run in the sixth.

Justin Grota started the nightcap and earned the win tossing five innings of one-hit baseball. He allowed one run and fanned three. Five relievers followed permitting one unearned run on two hits and a walk the rest of the way. Jake Liedka went a third of an inning allowing an unearned run, while Brett Gibson picked up the final two outs in the sixth. Andrew Toppert, Phillip Garcia and Bryant Sparkman each went one scoreless inning.

"We got two really good starts on the mound," said Malone. "They kept us from having to play from behind like we have all season. The relievers came in and threw strikes."

David De Leon suffered the loss in game two for the Broncs. He was charged with six runs including three earned in 5-1/3 innings. Scott Wingo pitched 3-1/3 innings of one-hit relief.

The Islanders return home for the Whataburger College Classic beginning Thursday night. The Islanders will face nationally-ranked Alabama at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the Islanders will play a doubleheader in the tournament. A&M-Corpus Christi will face UTPA at 1 p.m. and Alabama at 5 p.m. The final game on Sunday pits the Islanders against the Broncs at 1 p.m.