ARLINGTON- The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh without allowing a hit as UT Arlington claimed the opening game of the Southland Conference series 4-3 at Clay Gould Ball Park on Friday night. Due to potential rain, the teams have elected to play a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday.
With the loss, the Islanders fall to 8-17 in the Southland Conference and 17-31 overall. UT Arlington is now 24-21 and 15-10 in the league.
With the game knotted at three in the bottom of the seventh, Phillip Garcia relieved Islander starter Brandon Orr. Garcia hit Jay Pitschka to start the inning. After a Collin Garner sacrifice bunt, A&M-Corpus Christi intentionally walked Michael Choice. Matt Otteman drew a walk to load the bases. Andrew Kainer's broke the tie with a ground out that drove in Pitschka.
A&M-Corpus threatened in each of its next two at bats off Adam Boydston. Ernie Olivarez, who drove in the Islanders first three runs, led off the eighth with a walk and went to second on a single by Jeramie Marek. After Omar Garcia struckout first the innings first out, Martin Parra advanced each a base with a grounder to short. The bases became loaded as Stephen Flora was intentionally walked. Brycen Bell would pop up to second ending the inning.
In the ninth, Jacob Perales singled with one out, but pinch runner Chris Famigilietti was picked off for the second out.
A&M-Corpus Christi took the lead in the top of the third. Perales doubled down the line in left and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jeremy Narvaez. Ernie Olivarez, who be thrown out stealing second, singled to left plating Perales.
Kainer, who finished with three RBI, tied the game in the fourth. He led off the inning with a double. At third with two outs, the designated hitter scored on a wild pitch by Orr.
Each team scored a pair of runs with two away in the fifth. Olivarez belted his second home in as many games played with a two-run shot to left. In the bottom of the inning, Orr retired the first two batters of the inning. He then walked three straight batters to load the bases for Kainer. Kainer's single to right knocked in two to tie the game at three.
Orr was solid for the Islanders. The junior went six innings scattering six hits. He allowed three runs with three walks and a pair of Ks. Phillip Garcia suffered the loss allowing one run on no hits as he walked a batter and hit a batter. After Brett Gips walked a batter in two-thirds on an inning Bryant Sparkman tossed a perfect eighth.
"Brandon had a good start and kept us in the game," said Islander coach Scott Malone. "He had a couple of mistakes that cost us with the run scoring on a wild pitch and walking three batters with two away in the fifth. It's a lack of concentration to not finish the inning.
"A sign of a struggling team is when a team brings on the trouble itself and that is what we did today. Their starter was good, but we only had two batters do anything. You need five or six batters contributing to win a game."
Ryan Robinson moved to 5-2 as he permitted three runs on seven hits. He struckout six and walked none. Boydston pitched two scoreless innings for his seventh save.
A&M-Corpus out-hit the Mavs 9-6. Parra, Perales and Olivarez each led the Islanders with two hits apiece. Marek extended his hitting streak to 14 games, which is a season-long this season. Ryan Davis and Kainer had two hits apiece for UTA.