Islanders Roll in Season Opener, 12-2

CORPUS CHRISTI - Matt Holland

went 4-for-4 with a home run, and Chris Vergne went 3-for-3 with three runs as the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team rolled to a 12-2 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Friday at Chapman Field. Todd Simko threw five shutout innings to collect the win in his Islanders debut.

Simko punched out seven batters and scattered three hits with no walks allowed in helping the Islanders win their season opener. Bobby Buckner and Trey Hernandez each had two hits and two RBI for the home squad in the victory.

"The guys we counted on were excellent today," head coach Scott Malone said. "Simko was what you want in an ace today, attacking the strike zone. Trey and Holland did what you want the middle of the lineup to do offensively. [Drew] Vest was a pest on the bases today, which only helps the lineup. We've got to make sure the energy stays up when we go to the bullpen, because today I felt that the tempo changed when we took Simko out. We'll take it, though, and we've got 16 more innings tomorrow."

The Islanders offense picked up right where it left off the 2010 season, jumping on the Delta Devils for three runs in the first. Vest drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole second base. Jeramie Marek then followed by ripping a double to drive Vest home and give the home squad a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch advanced Marek to third, then Hernandez hit a sac fly to center to plate the Corpus Christi native and make it 2-0. Holland then delivered the first longball of the season for the Islanders, hammering a ball over the wall in right center for a 3-0 Islanders advantage.

In the second, the Islanders made it 4-0 on the strength of three singles and a leadoff walk. Vest had a push bunt single after a Jacob Perales leadoff walk, and, following a double play, Hernandez got his second RBI of the day with a single to right to send Perales home with the fourth run of the contest. The Islanders kept it going in the third, with a Vergne leadoff double being followed by a one-out Buckner single to make it 5-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Islanders knocked starter Eric Dowell from the game, as Hernandez went the other way for a triple to right center to chase the Delta Devil starter from the game. He gave way to Kameron Stady, who was greeted rudely by Holland, as the senior ripped a ball to center for an RBI single to push the edge to 6-0.

The Islanders added three more in the fifth to make it 9-0 after five. Buckner started things with an RBI single to score Vergne, then Perales drilled a triple to left center to make it 8-0. Vest added a sac fly to finish off the scoring in the frame.

After the Delta Devils plated two runs off Trenton Irwin in the top of the sixth, the Islanders finished off their visitors with another three runs in the bottom of the inning. Corpus Christi native Dan Sciantarelli got into the offense in his Islanders debut with a bases-clearing double to push the score to 12-2. Chris Pena threw the final 1 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner to finish off the game via the run rule after seven frames.

The Islanders and MVSU will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at Chapman Field. Game one will be seven innings and game two will go nine frames. On Sunday, the two teams will finish off their four-game series at 1 p.m. Live video and stats will be available on GoIslanders.com.