The Texas A&M-Corpus Christ baseball team withstood one early offensive punch, but couldn't overcome two more from Southeastern Louisiana as the No.-20 Lions handed the Islanders an 11-3 loss at Chapman Field on Sunday to avoid a series sweep.
The Islanders, who won the first two games 10-5 and 11-5, drop to 16-24 on the season and 8-13 in the Southland Conference. Southeastern moves to 13-8 in the league and becomes the first 30-game winner in the SLC this season at 30-12.
"Obviously after this loss soaks in some, there will be a lot of positives we can take away from this weekend," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "It was huge to take two-out-of-three. We have 12 games to go in the league and just need to keep playing good baseball.
"We knew entering the series we'd have to hit and pitch at a high level. We did that the first two games, but today it caught up to us."
Each team took advantage of control issues on the mound in the first inning. The Lions loaded the bases with no outs after Brandon Orr walked the first batter and then gave up a pair of singles. Orr battled getting back-to-back outs before Brock Hebert single through the left side of a drawn in infield.
The Islanders did Southeastern one better in the bottom of the first plating three runs. With one away, Chris Franklin, who was making his first start, walked Chris Vergne and Trey Hernandez. Matt Holland drove in the first run of the game with a single plating Vergne. After a break to work on the mound after Franklin hit Weston Montgomery with a pitch, Jeramie Marek lined a two-run single driving in Hernandez and Holland.
Franklin settled down after the first inning facing one over the minimum the rest of the way. Regularly a closer with seven saves, Franklin went the distance to move to 5-4 on the season. He allowed four hits with one after the second inning, struck out seven and walked three.
"After the first inning, we weren't able to make a charge offensively," said Malone. "A lot of that is because of Mr. Franklin. You have to give him a lot of credit."
Southeastern regained the lead in the third with four runs and scored five in the eighth to ice the win. As in the first, the Lions loaded the bases without an out each before adding to their lead.
For the game, the visitors finished with 14 hits led by Hebert, Cryer and Harkensee with three apiece. Hebert finished with three RBI, while Cryer and Philip Freeman each knocked in a pair.
Four Islanders had one-hit apiece.
The Islanders, who had allowed 21 runs total in their last five games entering the finale used five pitchers - Orr, Chris Pena, Ian Campbell, Roman Madrid and Roy Ferdin - on Sunday. They fivesome allowed 11 earned runs on 14 hits, two walks and two hit batters. Only Ferdin didn't give up a run tossing 1-2/3 innings of scoreless baseball to end the game.
A&M-Corpus Christi hosts Texas-Pan American on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Chapman Field. Live stats, audio and video of the game will be available at www.goislanders.com.