ISLANDERS BATTLE BACK FROM EARLY DEFICIT, BUT FALL IN TEN
LAKE CHARLES, La. -- The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team battled back from a 7-0 deficit after two innings on Friday night to take a 10-9 lead in the top of the ninth on Trey Hernandez's eighth home run of the season.
However, McNeese State's Lee Orr tied the game in the bottom of the inning with his second home run and in the bottom of the tenth, Jace Peterson hit a single passed a drawn in infield to drive in the winning run and handing the Islanders a heart-breaking 11-10 loss.
The Islanders fall to 10-12 on the season and 3-4 in Southland Conference play. It was their second loss in extra innings of the season in as many as chances. McNeese State moves to 4-3 in the SLC and 9-12 overall.
McNeese was able to get to Islander starter Jake Liedka early. Liedka, who had posted a solid 3.21 ERA in his prior to starts, lasted 1-1/3 innings giving up seven runs with six earned on five hits. He walked three.
After Liedka struck out the lead-off hitter in the bottom of the first, Andy Riche' and Jace Peterson singled and walked, respectively. Steven Irvine drove both in with a double to left. Irvine crossed the plate on double to center by Seth Granger. With two away, Jordan Venable doubled to left for the final two runs of the inning.
Liedka left the game in the second after a pair of runners reached with one out. Both scored on a double by Irvine, who was the first to face Ian Campbell. Campell, along with Adam Hoelscher, would keep TAMUCC in the game by allowing just two runs on six hits in 3-2/3 innings. Hoelscher tossed three shutout innings.
The Islanders began to chip away in the third scoring three runs in the frame. Omar Garcia walked to start the inning and was safe at second as Matt Fontenot bobbled a potential double-play ball at short. Garcia scored on a double by Cory Ege. Jeramie Marek and Ege scored on back-to-back sacrifice flies to right by Chris Vergne and Weston Montgomery.
After Lee Orr hit a solo home run to left in the fourth, the Islanders pulled to within two runs in the top of the fifth with a second three-run inning. Marek singled to lead off the inning and scored as Ege lined a triple to right. Ege crossed the plate on a double by Vergne. Hernandez singled to right-center field to plate Vergne to make it a 2-run game, 8-6.
After both teams scored a run in the sixth, Marek tied the game in the top of the seventh. With two away, Marek ripped a line drive to left-center field past a diving Blake Ellender for a triple to drive in Hernandez and Caleb Marx.
The game remained tied until the ninth when Hernandez led off the inning with a solo shot to left field off. It was his eighth home run of the season off Ryan Sampere.
Orr, who had a solo home run in the fourth, belted his second of the game in the bottom of the ninth off Phillip Garcia.
Marek led off the tenth with a single but was caught stealing on an attempted hit-and-run. Sampere struck out the final two Islanders to end the inning.
In the bottom of the tenth, Ellender led off the inning with a single off Chris Pena (0-1) and moved to third on a single by Andy Riche'. With the infield drawn in, Peterson singled past a diving Bobby Buckner.
Sampere earned his second win of the year tossing 4-1/3 innings of six-hit relief. He allowed three runs while striking out five.
The Islanders finished with 16 hits. Hernandez led the way with four, while Ege and Marek each had three. Ege, Vergne, Hernandez, and Marek each drove in two runs. Irvine finished with four of McNeese's 18 hits and drove in five runs.
The series continues on Saturday at 3 p.m. The finale is Sunday at 1 p.m.