March 9, 2011

Islanders Sweep Doubleheader From Texas-Pan American

EDINBURG -

The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team led wire-to-wire in game one and came from behind in game two to sweep a doubleheader from Texas - Pan American on Tuesday night. Three Islanders combined for a seven-hit shutout in a 6-0 victory in game one and the visitors scored four runs in the last two innings to post a 7-5 victory in game two.

The Islanders improved to 10-5 with the sweep. In game one, Ian Campbell, Alex Jack and Philip Garcia combined to scatter seven hits in a shutout victory. Jumpy Garcia went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Weston Montgomery and Bobby Buckner each posted 2-for-4 days.

After both teams put zeroes on the board in the first two innings, the Islanders struck with four runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. Chris Vergne and Buckner drew consecutive one-out walks, and then Trey Hernandez brought Vergne home with a single through the left side. After a Matt Holland lineout, Jacob Perales scored Buckner on a single to left, and Jumpy Garcia followed with a two-run single through the left side to make it 4-0.

Meanwhile, Campbell was dealing on the mound, putting up zero after zero for the Islanders. His main trouble came in the second, as he allowed the first two batters to reach on seeing-eye singles, but he rebounded with a popout, strikeout and flyout to end the frame. He did suffer a trio of walks in the game, but both singles he allowed in innings three through six were of the infield variety.

The Islanders tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Jumpy Garcia and Montgomery had singles to start the frame, and two batters later, Dan Sciantarelli singled home pinch runner Hayden Moore to make it 5-0. After a groundout, Buckner drove home another run on a single to push the lead to 6-0.

That was more than enough for Jack and Philip Garcia, who surrendered a combined three hits and one walk over their three innings of work. Garcia induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Tom Sickling to end the game.

In game two, the Islanders rallied from behind, as Holland went 3-for-5 and Sean Washington had two hits and drove in three runs as the Islanders came from behind for a 7-5 victory. Sean Hoelscher made his first collegiate start in an Islanders uniform and picked up a no-decision. Michael Boyle came on and posted his fourth save of the season.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi continued the momentum from game one early on, plating three runs in the top of the first. Buckner drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third on a Jeramie Marek groundout. Hernandez then brought him home with a single up the middle to make it 1-0. Holland and Perales then followed with consecutive singles of their own to make it 2-0, and the Islanders scored a third run when Holland sprinted home just before Perales was caught stealing.

In his first start since 2009, Hoelscher danced out of danger time and time again in the first four innings. UTPA finally cracked the scoreboard off the elder Hoelscher in the bottom of the fifth. The first three hitters reached on singles to plate a run and chase Hoelscher from the game. He gave way to younger brother Adam, who saw two runners score on a single up the middle, but rebounded with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning with the score tied 3-3.

The Broncs earned their first lead of the twinbill in the bottom of the seventh. Roland Botello walked the leadoff man, then UTPA sacrificed him to second. After a wild pitch, Iradier Hernandez singled through the right side to make it 4-3 in favor of the home squad.

But the Islanders regained the lead in the top of the eighth. Perales was hit by a pitch and then Jumpy Garcia and Montgomery followed with walks to load the bags. Two batters later, Washington drilled a ball through the left side to plate two runs and make it a 5-4 game. Buckner followed by ripping a double to score another run, and the Islanders carried a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth.

The Broncs got a run back in the bottom of the eighth on a wild pitch by Boyle, but the Islanders closer slammed the door shut without any further damage in that frame. The Islanders were able to tack on an insurance run with a bases-loaded walk by Washington in the ninth, and Boyle ended the second game the same way as the first, as Sickling bounced into a double play to wrap up the contest.

The Islanders are back in action this weekend, as they travel to Lubbock, Texas, for the Texas Tech Invitational. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will face the Red Raiders three times and Iowa twice at the event.