March 6, 2011

Late Rally Pushes Bobcats Past Islanders Baseball

CORPUS CHRISTI -

Texas State scored the game's final seven runs to post a 13-7 win over the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team on Saturday at Chapman Field. Trey Hernandez hit his second home run of the year and drove in five in the loss for the Islanders (8-4, 0-2 Southland).

Hernandez went 3-for-4 in the game and hit his 41st career longball in the loss, while Drew Vest and Chris Vergne each scored two runs. Santiago Ruiz had a two-hit game for the Islanders as well. Bret Atwood went 5-for-5 in the win for the Bobcats (8-2, 2-0).

Justin Meza allowed just five hits and two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, punching out nine. The hurler picked up a no-decision. Ian Campbell was carded with the loss after allowing two runs in two frames. Tyler King got the win in relief after a solid starting performance by Mitchell Pitts, who was credited with a no-decision.

"That's a good team over there in the other dugout and most teams, when you knock them to the mat they'll stay down," Head Coach Scott Malone said. "But they got up and came back which is what makes them one of the best teams in the Southland. We've still got to get over the hump versus those guys ¬- today we were closer and we'll try again tomorrow."

The Islanders got out to a 2-0 lead after posting solo tallies in the first and second. Vergne drew a one-out walk, then moved to second on a Hernandez single. Two batters later, Vergne came home when Jacob Perales reached on an error for the first run of the game. In the second, Logan Nottebrok drew a leadoff walk, then moved to third on a Bobby Buckner single. Nottebrok scampered home when Ruiz bounced into a twin killing to make it 2-0.

The Bobcats scored a solo tally in the third, then plated three in the fourth to make it 4-2. But the Islanders responded in the bottom of the fifth. Ruiz and Vest posted back-to-back singles with one down, and two batters later it was Hernandez ripping a double to right center, scoring both and tying the game at 4-4.

Again, though, Texas State was ready with a response. In the top of the sixth, Atwood and Kyle Kubitza hit back-to-back triples to chase Meza from the game. Campbell got out of the inning by striking out Jeff McVaney with the Islanders down 6-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, Hernandez delivered his big blow. Singles by Ruiz and Vergne put two on and two out, and the big righty mashed a homer over the left field wall to give the home squad a 7-6 advantage.

But in the eighth, the Bobcats got to the Islanders bullpen, scoring five runs with two outs in the inning to gain a lead they would not relinquish. The visitors added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Texas State and Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will conclude their three-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Whataburger Field. Brett Carnline is scheduled on the bump for the Islanders, while Colton Turner will go for the Bobcats.