The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball went into Sunday's series finale looking to build upon the momentum of a pair of come-from-behind victories over Central Arkansas and pickup its first sweep of the season.
The Bears had other plans scoring four-or-more runs in four different innings as they handed the Islanders a 21-6 loss in seven innings at Chapman Field. The Islanders drop to 16-29 with the loss and 8-16 in the Southland Conference. The Bears snap a seven-game SLC losing streak to go to 9-15 in the league and 18-23 overall.
Nicholls State and McNeese State also suffered losses on the afternoon as A&M-Corpus Christi remains tied for tenth a 2-1/2 games behind Stephen F. Austin for the eighth and final spot in the Southland Conference Tournament with nine games remaining. The tournament will be held at Whataburger Field May 20-23.
The Islanders struggled on the mound from the start as seven different pitchers combined to allow the second most runs in a Southland Conference game in the team's two-plus seasons in the league as UCA had 21 runs on 19 hits and nine walks. The most runs allowed being 24 by UTSA during the 2007 season. Starter Brett Carnline lasted a third of an inning giving up four earned runs on two hits, a hit batter and a pair of walks to take the loss and fall to 3-6.
"We didn't do anything well on the mound," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "I thought we had been getting better with our pitching the last eight to 10 games and getting some momentum in that area. We didn't hold them scoreless in any one inning. The struggles were a group effort on the mound."
Logan Ariola claimed the first win of his career. He allowed two runs on nine Islander hits while striking out four with a walk.
Jordan Getchell led the Bears going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI, while Josh Huffman added three hits and three RBI. Five other UCA players had two hits apiece including Jonathan Yerby who belted his school record 12th home run of the season with a grand slam in the seventh and Richard Irvin who drove in four runs.
A&M-Corpus Christi, which scored four runs in its final trip to the plate, finished with 10 hits. Martin Parra finished with three hits raising his average to .335 and scored twice. Jeramie Marek added two hits extending his hitting streak to 11 games, while Stephen Flora drove in a pair of runs.
"We need the hitters to help us early and they didn't," said Malone. "We had the bases loaded in the first inning and only got a run. We needed the offense to help out and it didn't happen."
The Islanders hit the road for their next five games beginning with a midweek game at Texas-Pan American on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
"We head to UTPA Tuesday with the series tied 3-3 for the season," said Malone. "Hopefully we can get a win to give us bragging rights over the summer and get the momentum turned back around."