May 8, 2009

ISLANDERS HOPE TO EXORCISE DEMONS IN FINAL HOME SERIES

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team closes out the home portion of its schedule this weekend with a three-game series with Northwestern State at Chapman Field. The series begins Friday at 2 p.m. with games on Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 1 p.m., respectively. Sunday's game will be Senior Day for the team's 12 seniors.

Entering its final home games and with six league games remaining, the Islanders (17-33, 8-19) are 5-1/2 games behind Stephen F. Austin for the eighth and final spot in the Southland Conference Tournament which will be held at Whataburger Field May 20-23. The Islanders close out the regular season next weekend at Sam Houston State. Northwestern State is 13-12 in the Southland and 21-23 overall.

The teams have met 15 times entering the series with the Islanders trailing 11-4. Last season, the teams opened Southland Conference action in Natchitoches, La. with A&M-Corpus Christi being swept.

The Islanders are led by Martin Parra who is hitting a team-best .335 in all games and is 12th with a .387 average in SLC play. He is 12th in the nation with six triples. Others have also been faring well at the plate. Justin Greiner is averaging .423 in Southland Conference games which is fourth in the SLC and he is second on the team with a .331 overall average. Ernie Olivarez has 15 RBI in the last 10 games he has appeared including nine in four games last week. During the stretch he is hitting .379.

Jeramie Marek is in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak which is tied for the fourth longest streak in school history. The streak is tied for the longest since both Bryan Gerondale and Jason Graham both posted 16-game hit streaks in 2007. The longest streak was 22 games by Humberto Aguilar in 2003.

On the mound, A&M-Corpus Christi will send Brett Carnline to the mound in the opener. Roy Ferdin will start on Saturday with Brandon Orr getting the nod on Sunday.

Joe Urtuzuastegui leads the Demons with a .403 average. He has eight home runs and 37 runs batted in. Justin O'Neal leads the visitors with nine home runs and 41 RBI and is second with a .363 average. Chase Lyles has a team-best 14 stolen bases with 42 runs scored. Ryan Zimmerman is slated to pitch the series opener on Friday with Jimmy Heard to go Saturday. Sunday's starter has not been announced.

Fans can listen to the action on www.goislanders.com as well as follow live stats.

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