ISLANDERS HOST SAM HOUSTON STATE IN SERIES BEGINNING THURSDAY

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team closes out the 2010 season this week with a three-game series versus Sam Houston State beginning on Thursday at Chapman Field at 2 p.m. The teams will play at 2 p.m. on Friday with Senior Day festivities prior to the finale at 1 p.m. on Saturday for seniors Jake Liedka, Jake Olier and Brandon Orr.

Entering the final series of the season with a 19-31-1 overall record and a 9-20-1 mark in league play, the Islanders will be looking to finish the season on a high note as they turn their eyes toward 2011. Sam Houston State enters at 9-21 in the Southland and has lost 11-straight games. The Bearkats stand at 17-35 on the year.

"We are looking forward to the opportunity of closing out the season in front of our home fans," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "I think it is important for us to come out and play the best baseball we have played of the season. As we start to look to next year, we want to play 27 innings of great baseball."

To the end of looking towards next season, the Islanders will send a pair of freshmen and a junior transfer Trenton Irwin to the mound. Lefty freshman Adam Hoelscher (2-2) will bring his team-best 4.26 ERA to the mound in the opener as he makes his sixth start. On Friday, Irwin (0-0), who has tossed eight innings all season, will make his first career start, while freshman Roman Madrid (0-2) is slated to make his second career start in the season finale.

A&M-Corpus Christi enters the final weekend hitting .306 led by Matt Holland with a .367. Holland would be seventh in the league in hitting if he had enough at bats to qualify. With a .344 average, Trey Hernandez is second on the team in hitting. He has 60 RBI to go with 15 home runs. Both totals are second in the league, while his RBI total is also the third highest in school history.

The Bearkats will send Dallas Gallant to the mound on Thursday and Brent Powers in the second game. The starter for the finale has not been determined. Gallant is 2-8 on the season with a 5.28 ERA. He has 68 strikeouts and has limited opposing hitters to a .258 average. Powers is 1-5.

With a .378 mark, Chris Andreas leads SHSU with a .378 average and 37 runs batted in, while Braeden Riley is second with a .353 average and has scored a team-best 39 runs scored. Mark Hudson leads the team with nine home runs.

"Sam Houston had won three-straight games entering this season so you know they have talent," said Malone. "They have struggled some this year and will be anxious to finish the season on a high note."