ISLANDERS DROP OPENER TO CARDINALS 16-3

Things didn't start the way Texas A&M-Corpus Christi wanted to in the series opener with Lamar at Whataburger Field Friday night as the Islanders fell behind 12-0 before a three-run home run by Chris Vergne en route to a 16-3 loss in eight innings.

Lamar wasted little time getting on the board. Aaron Buchanan led off the first with a single and later scored on a triple by Quentin Luquette. Luquette crossed the plate on a single by Ryan Meade.

Over the next three innings, the Cardinals would score eight runs with two outs off Islander pitching.

In the second, Brandon Orr retired the first two batters before loading the bases with a hit batter and a pair of walks. Luquette followed with a three-run double for a 5-0 lead.

Orr (1-4) suffered the loss as he allowed seven runs with six earned on five hits, four walks and a four strikeouts. He also hit a batter.

"We have got to have better starting pitching than that," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "When we were winning some games early on we were getting some consistency out of our starters and now we aren't getting that."

After Todd Zentek made the Islanders pay for a pair of two-out walks with a two-double in the third, Lamar added three runs on two outs in the fourth. With two away, reliever Jake Olier gave up a walk and a single before Andy Mena hit a three-run home run to left.

While the Islanders were unable to get off the inning with two outs, Lamar starter Matison Smith was holding the offense at bay. Smith allowed just a pair of hits in the first five innings to Matt Holland.

Facing the run rule, A&M-Corpus Christi scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth and threatened more. Roman Madrid and Caleb Marx hit back-to-back singles off Smith. Chris Vergne followed with his third home run of the season to make it 12-3.

The Islanders looked to continue the inning as Trey Hernandez doubled down the line in left and advanced to third on a single by Holland, but Smith would retire the next three batters. Cory Ege would strike out swinging, while Marek popped out in foul territory before Omar Garcia hit into a fielder's choice.

"We have to get more consistent on offense," said the Islander mentor. "In the sixth, we get the three runs with no outs and have runners on first and third. Just when we think we can get excited and possibly cut it to six or seven runs, we have some bad at bats.

"Their pitcher was good but I don't think he was beating our hitters. We had a bad approach at the plate."

Lamar finished off the Islanders with three runs on two outs in the top of the eighth off Alex Silva and Roy Ferdin.

TAMUCC was led by Holland's 3-for-4 outing and Vergne drove in the only three runs for the Islanders on Friday night. For the Cardinals, Luquette finished with four hits and four runs batted in, Buchanan had three and reached base five out of six times up. Three other hitters had two-hit games for Lamar.

Smith (4-1) earned his fourth win of the season as he scattered seven hits over eight innings of work. He allowed three runs and a walk while striking out six.

The series will continue on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Whataburger Field with the finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.