The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team was handcuffed by UT Arlington on Saturday afternoon as the Islanders suffered a 9-1 loss in the second game of their three-game series at Chapman Field.
With the loss, the Islanders fall to 18-26 on the season and 8-15 in the Southland Conference. UTA moves to 15-8 in the league and to .500 at 22-22 overall.
The Islanders were unable to figure out Rett Varner on the mound for the Mavs. The righty threw the second straight complete game by UT Arlington over the Islanders, who matched their season low with one run. Varner matched Jason Mitchell's strikeout total of 10 and complete-game performance from Friday, but limited the A&M-Corpus Christi to just five hits.
Meanwhile, the Islanders struggled on the mound and defensively. Adam Hoelscher fell to 2-1 after allowing four runs with three earned on four hits in 3-1/3 innings. He fanned six but walked three and had two errors.
Phillip Garcia was solid in his first three innings of work before allowing a two-run home run in the seventh to Michael Choice. The homer was the 14th of the season and the 32nd of his career breaking the UTA all-time mark. Garcia allowed three runs with two earned on three hits a walk and two Ks.
"Pitching is contagious and it is contagious in the wrong way right now," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "We had four bad innings yesterday and never turned it around today. Our defense wasn't very good. We aren't taking many hits away.
"UTA as always has the horses on the on the mound. It puts a lot of pressure on your offense if they are in a hole against these guys."
Alex Silva allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth, while Andrew Longoria tossed a scoreless ninth.
UTA took a 1-0 lead in the first when Steffan Guest reached on an error by Hoelscher. He later scored on a wild pitch.
The Islanders tied the game in the bottom of the third. After Cory Ege reached on an error and moved to second on a Roman Madrid single. Ege went to third on a wild pitch and then was awarded home on fielder's interference by Chad Comer.
UTA took the lead for good in the top of the fourth. Comer drew a lead-off walk and went to third on an error by Hoelscher on a pick-off attempt. A double by Stefan Guest drove in Comer. With one away, Guest scored on a Brian Nephew double, while Cody Dyvig capped the scoring with an RBI single up the middle.
Choice made it 5-1 in the fifth as he walked and went to second on an error by Phillip Garcia on a pick-off attempt. He crossed the plate on a two-out single by Guest.
In the seventh, Jordan Vaughn was hit by a pitch to start the inning to seal the win before the final two crossed in the eighth. He scored on Choice's blast. Choice, a projected first round pick in the MLB draft this summer has reached safely in 55 straight games.
Weston Montgomery led the Islanders with two of their five hits. UTA finished with 11 hits as the bottom four hitters in their batting order each had two.
The series finale is at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Chapman Field.