March 14, 2009

ISLANDERS OUTHIT COLONELS BUT DROP FINALE

THIBODAUX – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team pounded out 14 hits Saturday evening but it wasn't enough as Nicholls handed the Islanders a 6-3 loss in the series finale.

The Islanders drop to 4-15 on the season with the loss and are searching for their first Southland Conference win of the season as they dropped to 0-6. The Colonels moved to 9-7 on the season and are 4-2 in the SLC.

After leaving four runners on base in the first two innings, A&M-Corpus Christi jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the third. Stephen Flora reached on a double with one out. After Martin Parra walked, Flora went to third on a single by Jeramie Marek and scored as the ball was misplayed by Chris Murrill.

The Islanders were unable to add any more runs with the bases loaded when the inning ended. They stranded 14 runners in the game including seven in scoring position.

The Colonels answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning off Islander starter Brandon Orr to take a 3-1 lead. Kevin Schlegel and Murrill each singled. With one away, Keith Kulbeth tripled and scored on a throwing error by Ernie Olivarez.

"We did a lot of good things tonight that we hadn't been doing," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "Brandon Orr gave us a solid start and really competed. He got stronger as the game went on and that says a lot about the type of competitor he is and that is the type of competitor we want on the mound for us.

"We did a better job of hitting the ball, but when it came down to need the big hit with two outs, Nicholls got the job done. I really believe hitting is contagious and we just needed some things to go our way and have some success. Hopefully, things can go our way on Tuesday and Wednesday against a Big 12 team."

The Islanders tied the game at three with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Flora, who led the Islanders with three hits, led off the inning with a home run off starter Tyler Minto. With one away, Marek reached on a Nicholls error and went to third on a single by pinch hitter Justin Greiner that chased Minto, who had seven strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings, from the game. Trey Hernandez greeted Drew Erving with a RBI single.

Once again, the Colonels promptly answered breaking the 3-3 tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. With two away in the inning, Murrill doubled and scored on a single by Kulbeth. Scott Moseley drove in Kulbeth with a double to left-center field.

Blake Bergeron tripled off Orr in the bottom of the eighth to drive in Adam Miley for the final run of the game.

Orr suffered the loss for the Islanders tossing a season-high 7-2/3 innings. He allowed six runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Jake Liedka recorded the final out of the eighth inning.

Ross Larson earned the win for Nicholls tossing 3-2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He scattered three hits with a strikeout.

Led by Flora's three hits, five Islanders had multiple hits. Jacob Perales, Jeremy Narvaez, Ernie Olivarez and Hernandez each had a pair of hits. Islander hitters struckout eight times in the game including strikeouts to end the inning with runners on base on three occasions.

Nicholls finished the day with eight hits. The No. 1 and No. 2 hitters – Murrill and Kulbeth – combined for five of the hits.

The Islanders step out of league action with a pair of midweek games with Texas Tech. The teams will play single games on Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Whataburger Field.