April 24, 2009

ISLANDERS GET 'W' IN FIRST EXTRA-INNING GAME OF SEASON

In what started as a pitchers' duel, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team rallied from a 5-run deficit to in its final two at-bats forcing extra innings before Martin Parra's RBI single to left drove in Jacob Perales in the bottom of the tenth for a 7-6 win on Friday at Chapman Field.

With the game knotted at six in the bottom of the tenth. Perales reached on an error by Graham Martin who entered the game at shortstop when Bobby Pritchett took to the mound. Perales went to second on a single by Jeramie Marek that extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Parra singled through the left side of the infield with his first hit.

"There was no one hero offensively," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We finally started to swing the stick and once we got some hits it became contagious. Hopefully, we can build on it for the rest of the series."

The win was the Islanders seventh in Southland Conference play as they move to 7-15 in league play and 15-28 overall. The Bears fall to 8-14 in the SLC and 17-22 on the year. The teams will meet again at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The game was tight early as starting pitchers Brandon Orr for the Islanders and Jeremy Cloud for UCA were locked in a battle.

Stephen Flora, who was 4-for-5 with three doubles, doubled in the game's first run with two outs in the bottom of the first. With two away, Martin Parra was hit by a Jeremy Cloud pitch and scored on the double by Flora.

UCA tied the game with an unearned run in the fourth. With two away, Jonathan Yerby reached on an error by Parra. He scored on a single to center by Blake Roberts.

The Bears broke the tie in the top of the seventh with three runs and added two more in the eighth to lead 6-1.

All three runs in the seventh came with three outs. Tye Throneberry doubled and scored on a single by Pritchett. After Jordan Getchell was hit by a pitch, Orr misplayed a grounder back to the mound. Dillon Smith's double drove in the final two runs of the inning.

In the eighth, Brett Gips walked the first two batters of the inning with both scoring a ground-rule double by Pritchett, who finished with three RBI. After Brett Gibson walked Getchell with one away, Jesse Maldonado forced Josh Huffman to hit into a double play to end the inning.

The Islanders began the eighth with three straight hits off Cloud, who had allowed four hits in the first seven innings. Stephen Flora singled to start the inning and went to third on a ground-rule double by Justin Greiner. After Flora scored on a wild pitch by Cloud, Omar Garcia single to drive in Greiner sending Cloud from the game and making it 6-3.

Trey Hernandez greeted Michael Wild with a double to the corner in left pushing Garcia to third. Garcia scored from third on a pitch in the dirt by Wild. With one away, Ernie Olivarez hit a fly ball down the right field line that Smith fielded in foul territory allowing Hernandez to tally.

After Maldonado and Bryant Sparkman (2-1) sent the Bears down in order in the top of the ninth, Parra led of the ninth with a walk. Flora followed with a double to bring in Parra from third. Flora would advance to third on a fly ball to center but was left stranded.

Orr tossed 6-2/3 innings scattering seven hits with a walk, a hit batter and five strikeouts. He allowed four runs with one unearned. Cloud went seven innings permitting four earned runs on seven hits with eight Ks and three walks.

"Orr pitched really well," said Malone. "He threw a lot of strikes early in the game to give us an opportunity to stay in the game. Sparkman was vintage. He did what you expect him to do.

"Jesse really gave us a lift. Getting the double play to end the eighth gave us a lot of momentum and then he got the three-hole hitter to start the ninth."

The Islanders used three relievers after Orr. Gips went 2/3 of an inning allowing two runs on a hit and three walks. Brett Gibson walked the one batter he faced as Maldonado and Sparkman were perfect in the final 2-2/3 innings.