The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team jumped out to a 7-0 lead Saturday at Chapman Field and never looked back handing Southeastern Louisiana an 11-5 defeat.
It was the third-straight win for the Islanders as the battle to stay in the hunt for the Southland Conference Tournament at Whataburger Field in late May. The Islanders are now 16-23 overall and 8-12 in the Southland Conference. Southeastern Louisiana which entered the weekend ranked as high as 20th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll.
"We knew to be successful against one of the top teams in the league we would have to come out and out-hit them," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "I felt for the second time in two days that we flexed our muscles offensively. I think the offense overshadowed our defensive play, which kept them from getting things going. I was really proud of our defense.
"They had five errors today and it seemed like every time they had one we pounced on it and turned it into three-or-five runs."
With one away, the Islanders got the offense moving. A Chris Vergne walk followed by back-to-back singles by Trey Hernandez and Matt Holland loaded the bases. Weston Montgomery followed with a three-run double down the line in left. Jeramie Marek followed with an RBI single.
The Islanders chased Tyler Watkins from the game in the bottom of the second inning. Roman led off the inning with a single and went to second on a grounder by Caleb Marx. Vergne then reached on a catcher's interference. After advancing a base on a groundout by Hernandez, both scored on a single through the left side of the infield. After stealing second, Holland scored on Montgomery's fourth RBI in two innings.
Watkins (3-3) suffered the loss as he permitted six runs with four earned on six hits.
The Lions broke through for three runs in the third off Adam Hoelscher. The Islander starter hit the first batter and walked the second batter to start the inning. With one away Brock Hebert grounded out driving in Jeff Harkansee. A bunt single by Josh Cryer broke up Hoelscher's no-hit bid and scored Cody Gougler. Philip Freeman drove in Cryer with a single to left for the third run before Roy Ferdin entered for Hoelscher.
Ferdin evened his record at 3-3 tossing 3-1/3 innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Hoelscher. He allowed two hits with no walks or strikeouts. In his second collegiate start, Hoelscher tossed 3-2/3 innings allowing three runs with two earned on two hits. He walked five and hit a batter.
"I felt bad for Adam," said Malone. "He was just erratic today. I thought he would be more effective. He never let them get going or get comfortable, but he walked five and hit a batter.
"Welcome back Roy. He'd been struggling lately but he came out through strikes and really competed."
A&M-Corpus Christi answered with three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth.
The Islanders took advantage of three Lion errors in the fourth. Marx reached on an error and then was safe at second on another error as Vergne hit into a potential double play but the throw sailed into the outfielder. Hernandez singled to left-center field driving in Marx. The hit was misplayed by Harkansee allowing Vergne to score and Hernandez to reach third. Montgomery followed with his fifth RBI of the game to plate Hernandez.
The Islanders scored their final run in the fifth as Cory Ege reached on an error and eventually scored on a passed ball by Torin Lucas for an 11-3 lead.
Southeastern made it a six-run game in the eighth with a pair of runs off Andrew Longoria. Freeman doubled for his second RBI, while Chris Ernest came off the bench with an RBI single.
Brett Gibson tossed a perfect ninth.
The Islanders finished with 14 hits led by Montgomery, who was 4-of-4. Hernandez, Holland, and Marek each had two hits as the three through six hitters for the Islanders had 10 hits and nine combined RBI.
The Lions had seven hits with Cryer and Freeman each picking up two.
The Islanders will look to close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.