ISLANDERS HOST LAMAR IN CRUCIAL SLC SERIES

With matching 4-8 marks in the Southland Conference, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team hosts Lamar this weekend in a three-game series at Whataburger Field.

The series opens on Friday at 6:30 p.m. with the first 300 fans receiving a drawstring backpack courtesy of Centurylink. Saturday's game is 2 p.m. with Sunday's finale at 1 p.m.

The Islanders were swept in a mid-week series by No.-6 ranked Texas to fall to 12-18 on the season. Lamar lost a pair of games to Houston Baptist and is 17-13 overall. With both teams at 4-8, they are one-game behind Nicholls for the eighth and final spot in the May's Southland Conference Tournament to be hosted at Whataburger Field.

The series will be a battle of the Islanders offense versus the arms of the Cardinals.

The Islanders enter the weekend with the offense the strength of the team. Led by Trey Hernandez, who leads the league with 40 runs batted in and is tied for second with 11 runs batted in, the Islanders are in the top five in the league in hitting with a .308 average. They are second with 330 hits and third with 226 runs. Chris Vergne is currently seventh in the league with a .364 average and second runs scored in all games and conference games with 35 and 18, respectively.

In recent weeks, the Islanders have received help from the tandem of Caleb Marx and Matt Holland. Marx is hitting .419 with 18 hits in 43 at bats. He is tied for second on the team with four steals in six attempts. Holland is at .400 on the season with 22 hits in 55 at bats. He is second on the team with three home runs.

The Islanders will send the trio Brandon Orr, Jake Liedka and Chris Pena to the mound as they continue to find the right rotation. TAMUCC has struggled posting an 8.02 ERA through 30 games, which is last in the league.

The Cardinals have struggled at the plate, but continue to be a top team on the mound. Overall, they are hitting .284 while dropping to 11th with a .268 average in conference games. When toeing the rubber, Lamar is fourth with 4.88 ERA in 30 games and 269 innings. In league games, LU is seventh with a 5.70 ERA.

Mattison Smith will start versus Orr in the opener, with Eric Harrington starting on Saturday. Lefty Jonathan Dziedzic takes the mound on Sunday. Smith and Harrington are each 4-1. Smith has posted a 3.88 ERA and Harrington a 4.26. Dziedzic is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA and has a team-best 46 RBI.

Live audio, video and stats of the series will be available on www.goislanders.com.