March 7, 2009

ISLANDERS SPLIT PAIR IN WHATABURGER COLLEGE CLASSIC

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team split a pair of contests on Saturday at the Whataburger College Classic defeating Texas-Pan American 12-7 in the afternoon before falling 16-2 to Alabama in the nightcap.

With the split, the Islanders go to 4-9. UTPA is 0-11 and Alabama, which is ranked No. 23 in the Rivals.com poll is 8-3. The Islanders and Broncs meet in the final game of the tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Against UTPA, Weston Montgomery had the best game of his young career hitting a pair of home runs as he 2-for-5 with five runs batted in. Martin Parra drove in three runs as he was 2-for-4 at the plate, while Trey Hernandez hit his fifth home run of the season to lead the Islanders and now has four home runs in the last four games. Meanwhile, Justin Grota moved to 2-0 on the season scattering seven hits over five innings of work.

With the game tied at one heading into the top of the fourth, the Islanders took the lead with three runs. Parra broke the tie with an RBI double while Montgomery and Omar Garcia each drove in a run.

After UTPA added a run in the bottom of the inning, the Islanders tallied seven runs in the fifth off the UTPA starter Doug Roth, who took the loss, and Nathan Molina. Parra's two-run single began the scoring. After Ernie Olivarez scored on a Jacob Perales single, Montgomery, who led off the third with a solo shot, belted his three-run home run for an 11-2 lead.

Jordan Rutenbar closed the gap to seven runs with a two-run homer off Grota in the bottom of the fifth.

TAMUCC relievers Brett Gips and Trevor Foss held the Broncs at bay in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Gips pitched two innings of one hit baseball striking out three, with Foss pitching one scoreless inning.

After Hernandez's solo home run in the top of the ninth extended the Islander to 12-4, the Broncs scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth including a two-run home run by Jose Salmons.

In the second game of the day, things were not as smooth against the nationally-ranked Crimson Tide.

Alabama scored 15 runs in the first five innings off four Islander pitchers en route to a 16-2 The Crimson Tide finished the game with 21 hits led by Brandon May who posted a game-high four hits while scoring four runs. NCAA leader Kent Matthes hammered two home runs for nine on the season finishing with five RBI. Jake Smith was 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBI.

Flora led the Islanders with two hits including a solo home run as TAMUCC finished with seven hits.

Adam Morgan picked up the win to improve to 2-0. He allowed two runs with one earned on six hits, while striking out six in 5-1/3 innings. Nathan Kilcrease, David Head and Jimmy Nelson pitched the final 3-1/3 innings allowing one hit while fanning four.

Roy Ferdin took the loss for the Islanders falling to 1-2. He allowed five runs with two earned on seven hits in two innings of work. Brett Gibson allowed two over five innings on five hits. Jesse Maldonado gave up three runs on three hits 2-1/3 innings of work, while Philip Garcia permitted two runs in a third of an inning. Jake Liedka pitched two innings of scoreless relief while striking out four. Bryant Sparkman pitched an inning allowing a run while Hernandez pitched a scoreless ninth.