April 16, 2010

ISLANDERS VISIT SFA IN THREE-GAME SERIES

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team looks to get back on track this weekend visiting Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches for a three-game Southland Conference series at Jaycees Park. The series begins with a 3 p.m. game on Friday, with games at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Islanders (13-21) enter the weekend looking to regain the momentum in their chase for a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament berth. At 5-10 in the Southland Conference, A&M-Corpus Christi is currently tenth - a game out of eighth spot and three out of sixth. Stephen F. Austin is fourth at 9-5 in the league and are 21-10 overall.

A&M-Corpus Christi hopes a return to SFA's Jaycees Park will get the team going in the right direction. The Islanders swept the Lumberjacks in 2008 in the last meeting at the field. A&M-Corpus Christi has won 6-of-7 meetings with the Lumberjacks under head coach Scott Malone.

The Islanders will need to regain its form on offense and on the mound to get back on track. The team was second in the league in hitting with a .316 team average following a 17-1 win over Texas-Pan American. The team is now fifth with in the SLC with a .303 average, while on the mound the team has an 11.96 ERA during the span.

Chris Vergne, who is fourth in the SLC with 38 runs scored, is hitting .351 which is tops amongst those Islanders averaging 2.0 at bats per game. Caleb Marx is hitting .414 in 58 at bats and has reached base safely in 15 straight games. Trey Hernandez still reins as the league leader in runs batted in with 43 and is third with 11 home runs. Hernandez is two RBI and two home runs shy of tying the school record in each category.

On the mound, the Islanders will turn to a pair of lefties to produce quality starts in the final two games. The Sunday starter has not yet been decided. They will be facing the top offense in the league with a .330 average. The Lumberjacks boast a balanced offense with no players ranked top 12 individually.

Senior Jake Liedka will start the opener boasting a 2-0 record. He was the starter in Saturday's 5-4 win over Lamar. Saturday, freshman Adam Hoelscher will make his first collegiate start in the middle game. Hoelscher is 1-0 with a team-best 3.52 ERA. The Calallen graduate has struck out 17 batters in 23 innings.

Starting for SFA will be lefthander Tyler Herriage on Friday. Herriage (5-2) is sixth in the SLC with a 3.02 ERA in all games and fourth with a 2.43 mark in league play. He has the fourth-best opponent's average at .236. Starting Saturday will be Jared West with Justin Braddock taking the mound in the finale.