HOUSTON - The Nebraska Cornhuskers handed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi their first loss of the season winning 21-9 in the first game of the Rice Invitational at Reckling Park.
The loss drops the Islanders to 3-1 on the season, while Nebraska moves to 2-3 on the season. The Islanders take on Elon on Saturday at 1 p.m. before the closing out the invite on Sunday at 3 p.m. versus the host Owls.
The Islanders jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after two innings of play.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Marc Damon ripped a double down the left field line. Jacob Perales followed by painting the right field line with a triple into the corner scoring Damon off Cornhusker starting pitcher Sean Yost. Holland's RBI single pushed the Islanders in front 2-1.
"We had a chance early to extend our lead and had a couple of bad at bats that got us on our heels," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We didn't extend it and then the dam wall broke."
The Huskers awoke in the fourth and scored 18 runs in their next four turns at the plate to take a 19-3 lead. Tyler Farst driving in five runs including a three-run home run in the top of the fourth that made it 7-2 at the time. Cody Asche drove in three runs while five others had two RBI apiece.
The Islanders would score four runs in the seventh, while both teams scored a pair in the ninth. Trey Hernandez, who finished 4-for-5 with six runs batted in, blasted a three-run home run in the seventh and a two-run shot in the ninth. He now has three home runs in the past two games and nine RBI. Chris Vergne and Matt Holland each had two hits for the Islanders who finished with 12.
Nebraska finished with 19 hits in the game, but also benefitted from 11 walks and two hit batters by the Islander pitching staff and three errors. Entering the game, A&M-Corpus Christi pitchers had nine walks combined in three games.
Sean Yost (1-0) earned the win for the Huskers as he allowed three runs on seven hits, while striking out five in six innings. Ian Campbell took the loss for the Islanders dropping to 1-1. He allowed seven runs with six earned in 3-2/3 innings. Campbell struck out four and walked four. Trevor Foss followed but left after three batters due to injury. Six other relievers followed with only Chris Pena not allowing a run tossing a scoreless eighth.
"We got exposed in the bullpen today," said Malone. "It is part of a process. We are trying to give everyone a chance to see what they can do. There is still a lot time and we aren't going to panic."