The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team jumped out to leads of 6-2 and 7-3 but couldn't hold on as UT Arlington scored the games final 10 runs for a 13-7 win at Chapman Field on Friday.
With the loss, the Islanders fall to 18-25 overall and to 8-14 in the Southland Conference. The Mavs move to within a game of .500 at 21-22 on the year and are 14-8 in the league.
"We didn't pitch well today," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We left too many balls up in the strike zone. There are too many rewards in this park for hitters if you leave it up."
The Islanders struck first with a run in the bottom of the first. Caleb Marx led off the inning with a ground-rule double and scored on a two-out single by Matt Holland off Jason Mitchell.
After UT Arlington took a 2-1 lead with single runs in the second and third, the Islanders crossed the plate five times in the bottom of the fifth for a 6-2 lead off Mitchell. Chris Vergne led off the inning with a single and stole second. After Trey Hernandez walked, Holland drove in his second run of the game with a single to right.
Following an RBI single by Weston Montgomery, Jacob Perales continued his offensive surge. Perales belted a three-run blast for his third home run in as many games and his fifth of the season. He has 12 RBI in three games this week.
In the fifth, the Mavs cut their deficit to 6-3, only to see Caleb Marx answer in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run for the Islanders. It was Marx's first home run as an Islander and pushed the A&M-Corpus Christi lead back to four, 7-3.
From there Mitchell shut down the Islanders, while the UTA offensive erupted for 10 unanswered runs.
"I don't know if Mitchell did anything different," said Malone. "He is a Friday night starter and is a bulldog. He wasn't going to roll over just because we got to him. He wanted to come back out and prove to you that he is better than that.
Mitchell moved to 5-3 on the season as he struck out 10 batters. After permitting nine hits in the first five innings, the UTA senior allowed three in the final four and tossed a complete game for the fourth time this season. He threw 136 pitches.
UTA scored multiple times in three of the final four innings.
After cutting it to 7-5 with two runs in the sixth including a solo home run by Jesse Payne off Roy Ferdin, the Mavs regained the lead with four runs in the seventh as nine batters went to the plate. Payne picked up his second RBI in the inning with a single off Ian Cambell. Stefan Guest tied the game at seven when he crossed the plate as Jake Olier forced a double-play with no outs..
However with two away, Olier (0-1) allowed a walk and single before being replaced by Brandon Orr. Jordan Vaughn drove in both with a two-run single to center off Orr to break the 7-7 tie.
In the top of the ninth, the Mavs added four insurance runs off Orr. Preston Beck had a two-run single, while Guest drove in two with a double.
The Islanders used six pitchers in the game that allowed 13 runs with 12 earned on 16 hits. They walked 10 hitters and hit two batters in the game, while striking out 10.
Marx led the Islanders with three of their 12 hits. Holland and Montgomery each added two. Vaughn led UTA with five of the teams 16 hits, while Beck and Payne had two each.
"We did a good job of getting on them early and played some solid defense to get a 6-2 and 7-3 lead," said Malone, whose team turned four double plays. "We just weren't able to hold the lead and pitching is contagious. Bad pitching leads to bad pitching. We kept hoping someone would come out and turn around the momentum back to us but no one did."
The series continues Saturday with a single game at 2 p.m. The finale is Sunday at 1 p.m.