LUBBOCK - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team exploded for six runs in the top of the eighth and had runners on the corner in the ninth, but came up short to Texas Tech of the Big 12 Wednesday afternoon at Dan Law Field falling 10-9.
The Islanders (10-11, 3-3) trailed 10-3 heading into the eighth inning. Trey Hernandez sparked the Islander offense by leading off the inning with a solo home run to left-center field off Brennan Stewart, who earned the win as Tech moved to 11-12. The homer was Hernandez's team-leading seventh of the season.
Cory Ege and Chris Vergne followed with back-to-back singles before scoring on a double to right-center field by Caleb Marx. Bobby Buckner then drew a walk off Scott Ersinger. With one away, Jacob Perales belted his first home run of the season, while picking up his team-best third hit of the day.
"I was really glad we showed some fight after being down for much of the game," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "I see us as an offensive team so it shouldn't surprise that we scored runs. We don't want to get inconsistent at the plate. It was disappointing to wait so long.
"It was good to see some different guys step up on the trip - Caleb Marx, Jacob Perales, and Matt Holland. We just need to be consistent as a group."
In the ninth, the Islanders threatened again. With two away, Vergne walked and went to third on a single by pinch hitter Holland. Colt Farrar would earn his first save as Buckner grounded out with runners on the corner.
The teams both scored twice in the first inning.
Weston Montgomery opened the game with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Omar Garcia. With two gone, Montgomery scored on a single by Cory Ege. Ege scored on a Texas Tech error for a 2-0 lead. The Red Raiders tied the game up in the bottom of the frame on a two-out, two-run double.
The Islanders regained the lead in the second. Buckner singled and stole second to start the inning before scoring on a single to right by Jacob Perales.
After knotting the game at three in the fourth, Tech crossed the plate six times in the fifth off Marc Damon and Brett Gibson. The Red Raiders recorded six singles in the inning and a walk, while the lead-off batter reached on a wild pitch on a strikeout advancing all the way to third. Bo Altobelli had a two-run single in the inning, while Michael Reed, Kevin Whitehead and LeJeune had RBI base hits.
"We didn't do a good enough job of avoiding the big inning against Tech," said Malone, whose team allowed a pair of four-run innings on Wednesday. "We had some plays we could have made to avoid the big inning by taking hits away. We are still trying to see who can help us in which spot on the mound and continue to work at getting better."
LeJeune drove in his fourth run of the game in the seventh as he singled to drive in Barnes, who tripled.
Damon suffered the loss for the Islanders falling to 1-2. The junior allowed seven runs on eight hits while walking four and striking out seven. Gibson permitted a pair of runs with an out. The foursome of Chris Pena, Roman Madrid, Trenton Irwin, and Ian Campbell allowed Tech one run on four hits in the final four innings.
Led by Perales with three and Ege with two the Islanders recorded 11 hits. Barnes and LeJeune each had three as Tech posted 13.
The Islanders return to Southland Conference action on Friday when they travel to McNeese State (8-10, 2-4) for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. All three games of the series will be broadcast on www.goislanders.com in the Blue Zone.