February 21, 2010

ISLANDERS SWEEP PRAIRIE VIEW IN DOUBLEHEADER

After poor field conditions resulted in game postponements on Friday and Saturday, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team made its 2010 debut Sunday sweeping a doubleheader with Prairie View A&M by scores of 9-6 and 8-5 at Chapman Field.

"I loved how the first game went with us out-hitting them 17-6," said Islander head coach Scott Malone, who enters his third season at the helm. "A hit batter and a couple of errors changed the complexion though.

"In the second game, we came up with a couple of big hits when we needed them, and they couldn't. They were one-big hit away in the ninth of tying the game."

In the opening game, four Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball players recorded three hits and the Islanders finished with 17 winning their rain-delayed season opener 9-6.

Jeramie Marek, who singled in his first at-bat to break the Islander record for the longest hitting streak with a hit in his 23rd game in a row, led the way going 3-for-5 with a team-best four RBI. Marc Damon was 3-of-4 with three RBI and his first home run as an islander. Weston Montgomery and Omar Garcia were 3-for-4 and 3-of-3, respectively.

Trevor Foss earned the win tossing 2-2/3 innings of one-hit baseball. He allowed one unearned run in relief of starter Roy Ferdin. After Philip Garcia struck out a pair of runners in an inning of perfect relief, Andrew Toppert picked up his first save as an Islander by tossing a perfect ninth.

Benjamin Blackburn suffered the loss allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits.

After Prairie View jumped on the board in the top of the first with a pair of runs, the Islanders broke through with three runs in the second. With two away, Marek ripped a three-run double to left scoring, Chris Vergne, Weston Montgomery and Omar Garcia each scored on the hit for a 3-2.

The Panthers tied the game in the top of the fourth as Kyle Bible scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Brooks.

The Islanders answered by sending nine players to the plate in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good. Vergne led off the inning with a single and scored on a home run to left-center field by Damon. Montgomery followed with a double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Garcia.

Marek knocked in his fourth run of the game with a double driving in Montgomery. He came around to score on a single by Bobby Buckner.

Prairie View pulled to within a run at 7-6 with three unearned runs in the fifth as Cory Ege had a pair of shortstops.

The Islanders sealed the win with a pair of runs in the seventh. Damon drove in his third run with a single up the middle. A bunt single by Garcia with one out accounted for the second run.

In the second game, the Islanders struck first with a pair of runs on in the second.

Damon led off the inning with a single and scored on a one-out double by Matt Holland in his Islander debut. Trey Hernandez, who reached on an error scored the second run when Roman Madrid hit into a fielder's choice.

The Panthers tied the game with two runs in the top of the third. Evan Richard led off the inning with a single and scored on a single to right by Giovanni Angel. Andre Oliver scored the second run on an error by Ege at short.

With two outs in the fourth, Richard gave the visitors the lead when he belted a two-run home run to left off Islander starter Brandon Orr.

A&M-Corpus Christi tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Madrid doubled. He came around to score on a two-out triple by Buckner. Ege picked up his first RBI of the year with a single off Prairie View's Mark Almaguer.

The Islanders broke open the game with four-run sixth. After Jeremy Pinder scored on a fielder's choice, Damon drew a bases loaded walk to push the lead to 6-4. With two away, Hernandez lined a two-run single to left plating Perales and Ege.

Brandon Orr started for the Islanders and allowed four runs with three earned on seven hits in four innings, while striking out four. He gave way to Ian Campbell, who earned the win in his Islander debut pitching three innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball with three strikeouts. Chris Pena tossed a hitless eighth before Jake Liedka finished the game allowing a run on three hits in the ninth.

The Islanders had nine hits in the finale led by Marek with three to push the streak to 24 games. The sophomore finished the day 5-of-9 with four RBI. The Panthers had 11 in the second with five players collecting two each.

"I try to prepare the guys for dealing with adversity," said Malone. "I thought the adversity would be the cold weather, but it was the rain delays and then trying to get the field ready today. We did a good job and we are 2-0. We haven't been 2-0 since I have been here."

The Islanders host Houston Baptist on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Chapman Field.