March 21, 2010

ISLANDERS FALL IN SERIES FINALE TO COLONELS

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders went into Sunday's series finale against Nicholls looking for the series sweep at Chapman, but came out of Sunday's finale with a 10-2 loss.

The Islanders, who the first two games 14-3 and 7-5, fall to 10-9 on the season and 3-3 in the Southland Conference. Nicholls is now 12-7 overall and 3-3 in the league.

Nicholls took the lead early with three runs in the top of the first. The Colonels started the inning with four straight singles. After Bear Comer and Kasey Culverson reached on back-to-back singles off Brandon Orr, Keith Kulbeth singled to left scoring both runners as they were moving with the pitch. Kulbeth advanced to third on a single through the right side by Adam Miley and scored later in the inning on a double-play ball.

The Colonels added an unearned run in the third off Orr for a 4-0 advantage.

Meanwhile, Tyler Minto held the Islanders at bay offensively taking a perfect game into the sixth inning. Minto, who was making his first start, didn't allow a base runner until walking Jeramie Marek to start the sixth inning. Minto earned his first win of the season as he scattered three hits allowing a pair of unearned runs. He struck out eight Islanders.

"I thought Brandon pitched okay today," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "Nicholls is a good team and they came out today aggressive at the plate looking to hit the ball. Brandon threw strikes so they were able to get hits. They were just more aggressive at the plate than we were. We put ourselves in a lot of two strike situations.

"Minto did what a pitcher needs to do and threw strikes for them. We just weren't aggressive enough at the plate. We weren't able to get it going at the plate until it was too late."

Brad Delatte pitched two innings of scoreless one-hit baseball to get his second save as he entered with the score 5-2.

Trailing 4-0 entering the sixth, Matt Holland would follow Marek's walk with a double over Comer's head in centerfield. Marek tried to score from first on the play but was thrown out at the plate on the relay throw from shortstop Chris Jaramillo. Holland would come around to score on a throwing error after a single by Omar Garcia.

The Islanders made it a two-run game in the seventh. With two outs, Cory Ege singled and stole second. After going to third on a wild pitch, he scored on an error by Jaramillo at short on a ball off the bat of Marc Damon. Jeremy Pinder stole second as he pinch ran for Damon, but would be left stranded.

After Nicholls added a run in the eighth, the game completely got away from the Islanders on defense in the ninth. The Colonels would score five runs on two hits, two walks, two defensive errors and a hit batter off a trio of Islander pitchers.

"I hate the way things unraveled in the ninth," said Malone. "We want to think we are a good defensive team and that is one reason I think we are better this season."

Orr tossed seven innings for the Islanders. After giving up three runs on four singles in the first, he settled down allowed four hits the next six innings. The senior fanned five batters and did not walk a batter.

For the game, the Islanders had a season-low four hits. Weston Montgomery had his 15-game hitting streak snapped.

Nicholls finished with 12 singles - including five infield hits. Comer led the visitors with three hits, while Culverson and Kulbeth each two hits with three runs scored.

The Islanders hit the road for its next five games. They travel west to Texas Tech for midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading east to McNeese State for a three-game set on Friday.