HAMMOND, La. The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team received strong pitching on Saturday from a trio of hurlers en route to a 7-4 victory over Southeastern Louisiana at Alumni Field to move within a win of their second straight Southland Conference series.
Roy Ferdin started for the Islanders tossing 5/2-3 innings allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout. Brett Gips followed tossing 2-1/3 innings of shutout baseball. Trey Hernandez allowed an unearned run on two hits in the ninth.
"Our pitching staff was excellent today and was the difference in the game," said head coach Scott Malone, whose team improved to 14-25 overall and 6-14 in the league. "Southeastern is a really talented team with some aggressive hitters, but Roy did a great job of throwing quality strikes in the bottom of the field. He helped himself by really fielding the position well.
"Gips threw probably as he has since he has been in the program. Even thought they made a little bit of a run at Trey, I really thought that he was good."
A&M-Corpus Christi did not trail in the game and moved to 13-1 on the season when leading after six innings.
Justin Greiner gave the Islanders the lead in the top of the second ripping a two-run home run to left off Brandon Efferson to drive in Martin Parra. The home run was the senior's first of the season and the second of his career.
After Phillip Freeman's RBI singe in the bottom of the second made it a 2-1 game, the Islanders added two more runs in the top of the third. Jeramie Marek led off the inning with a single and went to second as Stephen Flora drew a one-out walk. After Marek went to third on a wild pitch by Efferson, Parra drove in Marek with a single to right-center field. Flora made it a 4-1 Islander lead when raced home on a throwing error by catcher Josh Cryer trying to catch the runner of third.
The lead remained 4-1 until the fifth when each team plated a run.
In the top of the fifth, the Islanders added their fifth run Jeramie Marek crossed the plate as Jeremy Narvaez drew a bases loaded walk. The Lions got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Phillip Freeman doubled off Ferdin to start the inning and later scored on Ty Summerlin ground ball.
In the sixth, Southeastern added a run to make it a 5-3 game. Brandon Street was hit by a pitch to start the inning. After moving to second on a ground ball, Street moved to third on a wild pitch by Ferdin. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Joe Sparacino. The Lions continued to threatened as Ferdin walked a batter and gave up a single before Gips entered to get the final out of the inning.
Narvaez made it a three-run game in the top of the seventh picking up his seventh RBI of the season. With two outs, the freshman singled up the middle to drive in Parra.
Parra accounted for the Islanders final run in the top of the ninth with a solo home run to left-center field. Parra's blast was his fifth of the season.
The Lions tried to comeback in the bottom of the ninth against Hernandez. Chris Ernest led off the inning with a single and went to second a passed ball. Cody Gougler doubled off the wall in left center to drive in Ernest. Hernandez would strand Ernest at third.
Parra finished with three hits for the Islanders who had seven in the game. Southeastern finished with 10 hits as four different players had two.
"Our offense has got to get better if we want to win tomorrow," said Malone. "We can't expect to have seven hits and win. It was great to see Greiner and Narvaez come through with big RBIs, while Martin did a great job again with three hits."
The series finale is slated to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.