The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team got out to an early lead and held off a late Oregon State charge for an 8-7 victory on Saturday night at the Kleberg Bank College Classic. Trey Hernandez went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles in the contest, while Brett Carnline tossed five strong innings to collect his first win since 2009.
The Islanders banged out 13 hits, with Matt Holland, Sean Washington, Drew Vest and Jeramie Marek each notching two. Michael Boyle pitched the final 1 2/3 frames, striking out the side in the ninth to strand the tying run on third base. It was the junior's third save of the season.
With Oregon State surging to make it 7-6 headed to the bottom of the eighth, the Islanders got a crucial insurance run in the frame. Holland led off the inning with a towering shot to right that caromed off the wall for a triple, and after a strikeout, Washington delivered heroics of his own, ripping a grounder through the left side of the infield to make it 8-6.
In the ninth, the Beavers refused to go quietly, with a walk and a hit batsman bookending a Boyle punchout. After another K, with two on and two out, preseason All-American Andrew Susac ripped an RBI single to center to score the seventh run and put the tying run just 90 feet away. With a 2-2 count, Boyle then rocked and fired a pitch over the outside corner to catch Luke Acosta looking to finish the ballgame.
It marked the second dramatic, 8-7 win for the Islanders in under a week, as they knocked off No. 6 Texas by the same score on Tuesday. Ben Wetzler was carded with the loss after struggling through three innings. James Nygren pitched five impressive innings for OSU, his only blemish the tally in the bottom of the eighth.
Early on, it looked as though the Islanders were going to run away with it, scoring seven runs in the first four frames. The home squad put up two in the first on an RBI double by Hernandez and a run-scoring single by Jacob Perales to make it 2-1. A Marek sac fly scored Vest in the second for a 3-1 advantage.
In the third, the Islanders notched two more runs to push the score to 5-1. A walk and a Hernandez double put two runners in scoring position, and then Holland plated both with a single up the middle. OSU countered with a run on two hits in the top of the fourth to trim the deficit to 5-2.
The fourth saw two more runs come across for the Islanders. Vest led off with a single and Washington followed with a double. Marek then roped a single to center to plate Vest for a 6-2 lead, and a Santiago Ruiz single made it 7-2.
But Oregon State clawed its way back, scoring one in the sixth and one in the seventh. After the first two batters in the eighth reached off of Tanner Green for one run, Boyle came in and surrendered an RBI single to make it a 7-6 game. But the junior got a flyout to end the frame with no further damage.
The Islanders will finish off the Kleberg Bank College Classic on Sunday, with a 3 p.m. matchup against No. 14 Connecticut. Moody High School grad and Corpus Christi native Justin Meza will toe the rubber for the Islanders in the Classic finale.