NATCHITOCHES, La. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball dropped the opener of its three-game series 7-1 to Northwestern State on Friday Brown-Stroud Field.
With the loss, Islanders fall to 19-29-1 overall and 9-18-1 in the Southland. The Demons became the fourth team to reach 30 wins at 30-19. They are 17-8 overall. With the Islander loss and a loss by Nicholls, A&M-Corpus Christi remains 1-1/2 games out of the eighth-seed for the SLC Tournament.
The Demons scored first with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third that resulted in three runs. A triple by Eric DeBlanc, which extended his hitting streak to 22 games tying a school record, got the Demons going. Oscar Garcia followed with a single up the middle to plate DeBlanc and, after stealing second, scored on a single by Chase Lyles. Lyles, who entered the game with 23 steals, stole second and third and came home on a passed ball.
After a solo home run by Justin Martinez in the bottom of the fourth, the Demons would score twice in the fifth without a hit and once in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead. Adam Hoelscher started the fifth with back-to-back walks. Will Watson went to third on a fly out to right by Oscar Garcia. He would score as Marek threw the ball away throwing home as Lyles stole second. A sacrifice fly by Adam Roy plated the second run.
In the sixth, the Demons scored their final run with back-to-back doubles off Ian Campbell.
A solo home run by Trey Hernandez in the top of the ninth allowed the Islanders to avoid their first shutout of the season. The home run was Hernandez's 15th of the season and he now has a league-best 59 runs batted in.
Steve Irvine moved to 6-4 on the season with the win. He tossed eight scoreless innings allowing just three hits. He struck out five and walked four.
Hoelscher dropped to 2-2 as he allowed six runs with four earned on six hits. He walked three and hit a batter.
The series continues tomorrow at 2 p.m.