The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team returns to Chapman Field this weekend as they host Central Arkansas in a three-game series beginning Friday at 2 p.m. Saturday's contest is at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Islanders will be out to snap a three-game losing streak entering the series with a 14-27 record and 6-15 mark in the Southland Conference. The Bears are 17-21 overall with an 8-13 mark in the Southland Conference. The two teams entered the league together prior to the 2007 baseball season and have met six times since. UCA leads the series 3-2-1 with last year's final meeting at Chapman resulting in a tie.
With 12 SLC games remaining, the Islanders are entering must win territory as they are three games out of the eighth and final spot for the league tournament. The tournament will be held in Corpus Christi at Whataburger Field on May 20-23. A&M-Corpus Christi sits two games behind McNeese State, Nicholls State and Central Arkansas, who is not eligible for the postseason, for eighth in the league. Both McNeese and Nicholls won the season series with the Islanders, who would need to finish a game ahead of both to move into the eighth spot. SFA is a game ahead of the Islanders with seven wins.
The Islanders will send the trio of Brandon Orr, Roy Ferdin, and Brett Carnline to the mound as starters. Orr is 1-5 on the season with a 7.02 ERA, while Ferdin is 2-5 with a team-best 5.15 ERA. Carnline is the team leader with three wins and has a 5.49 ERA. UCA will send Jeremy Cloud, Reece Cross and Logan Ariola to the mound. Cloud leads the SLC with 71-2/3 innings pitched and has 4-4 mark with a 4.40 ERA. Cross is 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA, while Ariola 0-2 with a 7.85 mark.
Offensively, Jeramie Marek has been the hottest Islander and enters the series with a nine-game hitting streak. He has raised his average to a team-best .326 during the streak just ahead of senior Martin Parra's .325. Stephen Flora and Weston Montgomery are hitting .304 and .302 as the Islanders average .279 as a team.
The Bears average .298 as a team with Tye Throneberry and Dillon Smith averaging .368 and .355, respectively. Each has driven 32 runs. Jonathan Yerby leads the team with 11 home runs with 10 in SLC action to tie for third with Islander Trey Hernandez, who leads TAMUCC. Yerby has 32 runs scored and 31 RBI.
Live audio will be available for all three games with live stats as well on www.goislanders.com.