MCNEESE ENDS ISLANDER STREAK AT TWO WITH 14-4 WIN
The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team hoped to build on their pair of wins over Texas Tech entering its Southland Conference series but were unable to overcome an early deficit, falling 14-4 in seven innings to McNeese State at Chapman Field on Friday. The game was called due to the 10-run rule.
With the loss, the Islanders dropped to 6-16 and remain winless in the Southland Conference at 0-7. They have lost all three games this season at Chapman Field. The Cowboys move to 2-5 in the SLC and 10-9 overall.
The Cowboys bolted to a 5-0 lead after two innings. Lee Orr drove in a pair of runs in the first with a double down the line in left off Brandon Orr and scored on a single by Nick Eubanks. In the second inning, the Cowboys added two more runs on an RBI double by Steven Irvine and a solo homerun by Shon Landry.
Meanwhile, the Islander stranded three runs in the first inning after loading the bases off McNeese starter Tyler Davis with one out.
Orr settled down in the third and fourth innings, keeping the visitors scoreless. In the fifth, Orr left the game after a solo home run by Taylor Freeman to straight-away center field as the Islanders trailed 6-0. Orr was credited with the loss as he gave up six runs on eight hits in 4-1/3 innings of work.
"This is college baseball and with the aluminum bat you have to be able to overcome a 5-0 deficit early in the game," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "Earlier in the year, I thought we had found ways to lose games, but today I felt even though we were down early that we could find a way to win because we had some momentum."
After allowing a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to trail 8-0, A&M-Corpus Christi looked to battle back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Jacob Perales led off the inning with walk, Ernie Olivarez lined a double with one out. Trey Hernandez then belted a home run over the 404 sign in center field to make it an 8-3 game off Davis. Davis (3-2) earned the win allowing just the three runs over 5-2/3 innings. He walked five and struckout one.
"We were very inconsistent with our swings," said Malone. "We didn't give ourselves a chance."
The Cowboys dashed thoughts of an Islander comeback with six runs in the top of the seventh off a trio of relievers. Ryan Brauninger belted the Cowboys third home run of the game as McNeese went ahead 14-3.
Grota, who started the inning, was credited with allowing two runs with one unearned after Jacob Perales' three-base error in right. Brett Gips gave up three runs without recording an out, while Bryant Sparkman allowed a run before recording the final out.
"It was disappointing that once we get the three runs on Hernandez's home run that the bullpen turns around and give up six immediately," said Malone.
Olivarez singled to bring Flora in to make it 14-4 in the bottom of the seventh, but the Islanders could not get any closer.
The Islanders were out-hit in the game 17-6 as Landry, Brauninger and Freeman each had three hits. Olivarez and Hernandez each had a pair of hits for A&M-Corpus Christi.
The two teams meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. with the finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.