Chris Vergne ripped a two-run single with outs in the bottom of the eighth completed a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi comeback from 4-1 down in its final two at bats on Friday as they rallied for a 5-4 win over UTSA at Whataburger Field.
With the win, Islanders end a 6-game Southland Conference losing streak and move to 12-15 on the season and 4-7 overall. UTSA is now 11-14 and 2-9 in the SLC. The series is now even at 1-1 as UTSA won the opener 19-5.
"We try to stay on an even keel whether we win or lose," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We don't to get on that roller coaster. The guys kept plugging away and pulled out the win. I always try to remind the guys that you are never that far away from being the team we want to be. We took a huge punch from UTSA yesterday and I am proud with how we came back and performed."
Down by 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Cory Ege reached on a one-out single to right and went to second on a ground out. Mike Pierce then relieved Matt Crocker and walked Trey Hernandez. Jeramie Marek drew a walk loading the bases bringing Vergne to the plate. The junior lined a single to right field off UTSA closer Kevin Clarke drving in Ege and Hernandez.
Adam Hoelscher (1-0) started the ninth by allowing a single to Daniel Rockett, who went to second on a balk. With Hoelscher behind in the count 2-1 to Ryan Rummel, Roman Madrid entered for the Islanders struck him out looking. Madrid then struck out Ryan Hutson and Ryan Dalton swinging to end the game for his first save.
Hoelscher tossed three scoreless innings to get his first collegiate victory after relieving Orr. Orr went five innings scattering seven hits punching out a season-best six. He permitted all four runs.
UTSA struck first with a single run in the third inning to break the scoreless deadlock. With two away, Daniel Rockett scored on a single to left by Hutson.
Weston Montgomery tied the game for the Islanders in the bottom of third. He belted an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left field for his first home run of the season. It was the first hit of the evening for the Islanders off Crocker, who allowed five hits total in 7-2/3 innings and struck out six.
After Orr worked out of a jam in the fourth, he wasn't as unfortunate in the fifth. With one out, Thursday's starting pitcher Casey Selsor hit a fly ball to left that carried over the left field fence. It was the sophomore's third home run of the year.
A&M-Corpus Christi pulled to within a run at 4-3 in the seventh with a pair of runs coming off balks by Crocker. Jeramie Marek and Vergne singled to start the inning and advanced 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Omar Garcia. Marek and Vergne came home on a pair of balks with two outs.
Vergne finished with two of the Islanders six hits. He drove in two and scored a third. UTSA had 10 hits in the game led by Lance Brown, Hutson and Carpenter with two each.
The series concludes on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Chapman Field.