April 14, 2009

ISLANDERS TO FACE LONGHORNS IN PAIR OF NON-CONFERENCE GAMES

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team opens a seven-game road trip Tuesday with the first of two games against ninth-ranked Texas at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at 6 p.m. The two sides will meet again on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the final game of the series.

Live stats and audio of the games will be available at www.goislanders.com.

The Islanders enter the series with a record of 13-22 and are 5-13 in the Southland Conference and are coming off their second Southland Conference series win of the year. Texas is 24-8 on the year with a 9-6 mark in the Big 12 after sweeping Nebraska on the road this past weekend. The teams have met 11 prior times with the Islanders lone win coming the 2003 season opener with a -5-0 victory. Texas entered that season as the preseason No. 1 team in the nation.

The Longhorns enter the midweek series with a 2.16 ERA. Last week, they were tops in the nation with a 2.26 mark and second in hits per nine innings at 7.1 as foes average .215 against them at the plate. Six pitchers have at least three wins for the ‘Horns. Chance Ruffin leads UT with five, while Austin Wood has four to go with seven saves.

Offensively, the Longhorns are hitting .277 as a team with 15 home runs on the year. Brandon Belt leads the way with a .330 average. Travis Tucker is second on the team with a .317 average with a team-best 25 runs and seven steals. Kevin Keyes and Connor Rowe lead UT with four home runs apiece, while Brandon Loy is tops with 20 runs batted in.

The Islanders enter the game have posted 10-or-more hits in seven of its last 10 games and in 10 of its last 14 games. During the span, A&M-Corpus Christi has raised its mark at the plate to 14 points to .292. Freshman Weston Montgomery continues to lead the Islander offense in hitting with a .346 average. Five others are hitting .308 or better for A&M-Corpus Christi. Martin Parra is second at .333 with a team-best 32 runs batted in, while Jacob Perales is third with a .328 average. Stephen Flora is fourth at .325 and is tied Perales with the team lead in runs scored with 25. He is second home runs with seven and RBI with 30. Jeramie Marek and Brycen Bell are hitting .315 and .308 respectively. On the mound, the Islanders will start Justin Grota and Brett Carnline. Grota is second the team with two wins, while Carnline leads the way with three victories.

The Islanders will stay on the road over the weekend as they head to Southeastern Louisiana for three games. They close out the seven-game stretch at TCU the following Tuesday and Wednesday for another pair of midweek games.