The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team scored three runs in the first three innings and appeared to be on its way to a 2-0 lead in its Southland Conference series with Stephen F. Austin on Friday afternoon.
However, the Islanders would end up with one hit in the final six innings and the Lumberjacks would score a run in the seventh to break a 3-3 tie en route to a 4-3 win at Chapman Field.
"We were inconsistent offensively," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We had six hits in the first three innings and then one the rest of the way. I am not sure I can say we had any really good at bats.
"In the ninth, you keep telling yourself that even though his average isn't where it was last year, that if you get a guy on base you have Trey (Hernandez) coming to the plate fourth and you like your chances with the conference leader in home runs. The inconsistency is disappointing, but it's not that the guys aren't trying. The effort is there."
The teams will meet in the rubber match of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. with Andrew Toppert slated to throw for the Islanders and Jared Schrom on the rubber to begin for SFA.
After the Lumberjacks put up a run in the top half of the first inning when Zach Gardner singled to lead off the game and scored on a base hit by Sean Meyers, the Islanders came back with a pair of runs in the bottom half to take an early 2-1 lead.
Jacob Perales led off the inning by drawing a walk. The next batter, Weston Montgomery, doubled to right-center field to bring Perales from first to knot the game at 1-1. Martin Parra followed with a single driving in Montgomery to give the Islanders their first lead at 2-1.
After Brycen Bell was thrown out at home by Bo Coffman to end the second, the Lumberjacks tied the game with a solo home run by Jeffrey Kello in the top of the third inning off of Roy Ferdin. It was Kello's second home run of the season.
TAMUCC again answered quickly however, as they pushed across another run in the bottom of the third to retake the lead 3-2. Perales once again opened the inning, this time with a double to centerfield. After a pair of outs, Stephen Flora delivered a clutch two-out single to right field, bringing Perales home to put the score at 3-2 in favor of the Islanders.
SFA tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth. Meyers drew the only walk allowed by Islander pitching on the afternoon. He went to second on a single by Brian Ferguson and crossed the plate on a grounder by Justin Long.
The Lumberjacks plated the eventual winning run in the top of seventh. Coffman tripled center to open the inning off Ferdin as Jonathan Reyes misread the ball to lead off the inning. Pinch hitter Adam Bosley followed with his first pinch hit of the season in eight chances singling to center to greet Brandon Orr.
Ferdin (1-5) suffered the loss for the Islanders as he allowed four earned runs on eight hits. He walked one and had a strikeout. After allowing a single to the first batter he faced, Orr recorded eight straight outs to give the Islanders a chance. He had five strikeouts in 2-2/3 innings.
"I'd have to go back and look and see the last time we lost when we didn't allow a crooked number at this field," said Malone. "The pitchers did a good job of avoiding the crooked numbers again and limited to the four one-run innings. It doesn't add up."
After permitting three runs on six hits in the first three innings, Lehmann claimed the victory with three perfect innings to even his mark at 3-3. He scattered six hits over six innings with fanning six. Chris Court allowed a two-out single to Weston Montgomery, who moved to third on a pair of wild pitches by Richard Folmer, for the Islanders first hit since the third inning. Folmer added his sixth save of the season tossing 1-1/3 innings of scoreless, no-hit baseball.
Montgomery finished 2-for-4 for the Islanders, while Gardner and Meyers each had a pair of hits for the visitors.