Holland's Cycle Carries Islanders in 14-5 Victory

LUBBOCK - Matt Holland

went 4-for-6 and hit for the cycle as the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team rolled to a 14-5 win over Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon. Trey Hernandez added a three-run homer for the Islanders, who improved to 11-5 on the season. David Paiz hit a solo shot for the Red Raiders, who are now 9-6.

The Islanders' offensive outburst was more than enough to give Todd Simko his second win of the season (2-2), while Alex Jack and Trenton Irwin combined to allow three hits over the final three shutout innings. Simko scattered seven hits and struck out four in six innings of work. Jamen Parten was carded with the loss after surrendering two runs in his 4 1/3 innings.

Chris Vergne went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, while Hernandez scored three runs as well. Jacob Perales and Sean Washington each went 2-for-5 with two RBI in the victory, while Weston Montgomery and Bobby Buckner had two hits apiece as well for the Islanders.

"I thought Todd Simko pitched better than the numbers show," head coach Scott Malone said. "All three of our guys did a really good job for us on the mound. We played outstanding defense. Jeramie Marek made one of the best plays of the year, if not the best play of the year, and those things are such momentum killers.

"Obviously the offense was good," he continued, "but every guy on our team will tell you that's what we're supposed to do. Matt Holland was outstanding, and Weston Montgomery and Bobby Buckner are both playing really good baseball. We talk about people waiting their turn and making the most of their opportunities, and those two guys have been running with it for a few days in a row."

After the two squads put zeroes on the scoreboard in each of the first three innings, the Islanders broke the deadlock in the top of the fourth. Holland led off with a double and stole third on a Perales walk. Jumpy Garcia then sent in the first run when he bounced into a double play to make it 1-0.

In the fifth, the visitors put a crooked number on the board with a three spot to make it 4-0. Sean Washington started the rally with a one-out single, and moved to second on a passed ball when Buckner struck out. Vergne followed with a double to right center to plate Washington, and Holland then reached on an error after Hernandez reached on an intentional walk. Perales then singled up the middle to plate two runs for a 4-0 lead.

In the sixth, the Islanders put four more on the board on five hits. Weston Montgomery led off with a double, and two batters later, Washington singled him home to make it 5-0. Buckner was then hit by a pitch and Hernandez followed by drilling his third homer of the season - a three-run shot to left - for an 8-0 Islanders lead.

Texas Tech finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth, as Paiz hit a solo shot to left center to make it 8-1. But the Islanders responded once again in the seventh. Montgomery walked and Jeramie Marek singled to right center to put runners at the corners. Washington followed by delivering an RBI fielder's choice to make it a 9-1 game.

But the Red Raiders rallied in the seventh, as the first four men reached off Simko to chase him from the game. Alex Jack came on in relief and surrendered a sac fly to make it 9-3, then a walk loaded the bases once again. Another sac fly and a single pushed the score to 9-5, but Trenton Irwin came on and got a flyout to end the threat. Neither squad cracked the scoreboard in the eighth.

The Islanders broke the game open with five in the top of the ninth. Logan Nottebrok started with a sac fly and then the Islanders loaded the bases with two down for Holland. Needing a home run for the cycle, he ripped a 2-0 offering over the right-field wall for a grand slam to give the visitors a 14-5 lead.

The Islanders are back in action on Sunday afternoon, when they play a split doubleheader - taking on Iowa in game one and Texas Tech in game two. The action gets underway at noon CT in Lubbock. Live stats and video will be available on TexasTech.com.