The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team welcomes Southland Conference rival UTSA for a key three-game series for each team as the race for a berth in the postseason tournament heats up. The teams will play at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at Whataburger Field. On Saturday, the series finale will be at 2 p.m. at Chapman Field.
The Islanders ripped Texas-Pan American 17-1 in a mid-week game on Tuesday ending a six-game losing streak. After posting their most runs in nearly two seasons, A&M-Corpus Christi enters the series with an 11-14 record and is 3-6 in the Southland Conference. The Roadrunners are 10-13 this season and 1-8 in the conference. The teams have met 37 times with UTSA holding a 19-18 advantage. The Islanders have won 6-of-9 meetings under head coach Scott Malone.
"Whenever we play UTSA it is a big rivalry," said Malone, who was an assistant for Roadrunner head coach Sherman Corbett early in his career. "We have been lucky enough to have some success against them the last two years.
"It will be a big series. I think it's fair to say to that after nine games neither team is where they wanted to be in the league. I think both of us will be looking at this weekend as an important one to get things going in the right direction. We will have to play well."
The Islanders, who have a league-best 287 hits, enter the weekend having scored the second most runs in the league with 201 behind only Southeastern Louisiana's 209. They are second in runs batted in with 177 and third in both batting average (.316) and slugging percentage (.470). Nationally, the Islanders entered the week 12th with 12 triples before adding two more on Tuesday.
Individually, a pair of Islanders is in the top 12 of the league in hitting. Despite a recent slump, Chris Vergne is ninth with a .376 average, while Cory Ege raised his average to 12th at .364 with a 4-for-4 performance Tuesday. Trey Hernandez leads the league with 38 RBI and is second with nine home runs. Nationally, he was 13th in RBI and 19th in home runs beginning the week. The Islanders have also received help from Matt Holland and Caleb Marx in recent games as the pair has hitting streaks of seven and six games.
On the mound, the Islanders will be looking to continue the momentum built from Tuesday's 1-run, 4-hit performance against UTPA. They will send Roy Ferdin to the mound on Thursday with Brandon Orr throwing on Friday. No decision has been made for the finale on Saturday.
Ryan Rummel leads UTSA in hitting with a .423 and had four home runs. Ryan Hutson and Ryan Dalton each have five home runs. Hutson has a team-best 20 runs batted in. On the mound, the Roadrunners will send a trio of lefties to the mound led by Casey Selsor, who will start the opener. Selsor is 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA, while Matt Crocker is 2-3 and will take to the mound on Friday. D.D. Towler will start the finale.
Live stats, audio and video will be available on www.goislanders.com.