The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team returns to Chapman Field this weekend to face nationally-ranked Southeastern Louisiana in a three-game series beginning Friday at 2 p.m. Saturday's game is also at 2 p.m. with Sunday's finale at 1 p.m.
The Islanders enter the weekend 14-23 overall and 6-12 in the Southland Conference. They are currently just two games out of the final spot in the upcoming conference tournament with 15 league contests to play.
Southeastern comes to Corpus Christi with a 29-10 overall record and a 12-6 Southland Conference mark. They are 20th in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, 24th in the USA Today/ESPN poll and entered the Baseball America poll at No. 25. The Lions join UCLA, Rice, Oklahoma, and Texas as ranked opponents to face the Islanders this season.
The Islanders will be looking to build on the momentum they built against the Southland Conference's top offense entering last week despite going 1-2. After struggling on the mound for much of the season, the Islanders held Stephen F. Austin to 11 runs in three games a week ago. A&M-Corpus Christi held SFA, which entered the weekend with a .330 team average was tops in the Southland, to nine hits or less in all three games. They lost the first two games 4-3 before claiming the finale 6-3.
With the success on the mound a weekend ago, the Islanders will send the same rotation to the mound that faced the Lumberjacks a week ago. Jake Liedka will start the opener followed by fellow left Adam Hoelscher, who will be making his second start of the season. Brandon Orr, who earned the win last Sunday, will start the final game for the second-straight week.
Liedka is 2-1 on the season with a 6.90 ERA. At SFA, the senior pitched eight innings allowing four runs with three earned in a complete-game effort. He struckout four in the outing with one walk.
In his first collegiate start, Hoelscher tossed five innings permitting three runs on six hits with three Ks. It was his longest outing of the season. At 3.86, Hoelscher's ERA is the lowest on the team, while his 3.32 mark in league games is ninth in the league. His 17 appearances are second on the team to Chris Pena's 19. Pena is tied for first in appearances, and Hoelscher is tenth.
Orr made his eighth start of the season last earning his second win of the season. The senior tossed a season-high eight innings allowing no hits in his final six innings while retiring the side 1-2-3 in five of those innings. He had five strikeouts. Orr allowed two runs lowering his ERA nearly a point.
Southeastern leads the league in pitching with a 3.80 ERA in all games. Brandon Efferson, who will start the opener, is tops in the Southland with a 7-1 ERA, while his 2.35 ERA is second. Starting game two is Tyler Watkins, who is 3-2 on the season. The starter for Sunday has not been chosen. The Lions have a solid bullpen with two players recording five or more saves. Chris Franklin has seven, while Josh Janway has five.
On the year, the Islanders are hitting two points better than Southeastern. Caleb Marx leads A&M-Corpus Christi with a .408 average. In league games, Trey Hernandez leads the Islanders with a .382 average. On the year, Hernandez is second with 45 RBI and third with 11 home runs. He is currently tied with Jaime Landin for the all-time record in RBI with 134.
The Lions have six regulars hitting over .300 lead by Justin Boudreaux. Boudreaux leads the Southland with 48 RBI and is fourth with 10 home runs. He also has a team-best 14 stolen bases which is fourth in the SLC. Jeff Harkensee and Cody Gougler are each hitting .333
All three games have live stats, audio and video available on live stats.