Islanders Fall in Pair of Nailbiters
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team lost a pair of hard-fought games on Sunday, losing 10-9 to Iowa in the first game and falling 6-5 to Texas Tech in the second contest of the day. In both contests, the winners came from behind and tallied the winning run in walk-off fashion, with the Hawkeyes winning in the 10th and the Red Raiders pushing across the winner in the bottom of the ninth.
In the opening game, the Islanders (11-7) fell in a tightly contested game to the Hawkeyes, 10-9 in extra frames. Weston Montgomery went 4-for-6, while Jumpy Garcia hit a solo home run in a losing effort. Trey Hernandez, Sean Washington and Logan Nottebrok each had two-hit games for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.
Michael Boyle was carded with the loss for the Islanders, as the Hawkeyes got an RBI single with two outs on a 2-2 count in the bottom of the 10th. Iowa scored each of its final three runs with two-out base hits in two-strike counts to rally from down 9-7, scoring solo runs in the seventh, eighth and 10th innings.
Justin Meza had a no-decision in the contest, as he surrendered seven runs, five earned, in four innings of work. The freshman gave up just three hits, but walked six and struck out seven in the contest. Roy Ferdin gave up two hits and one run in 2 2/3 innings, while Adam Hoelscher allowed a single run on one hit in his only frame of work.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Islanders responded with a four-spot in the top of the third. Consecutive singles by Dan Sciantarelli, Montgomery and Caleb Marx plated the first run, and Hernandez sent home a second tally on an RBI single. Jacob Perales walked to load the bases, then Matt Holland singled home a pair of runs to make it 4-3 Islanders.
Iowa regained the lead with two in the bottom of the third, but a Montgomery run-scoring triple tied the game in the top of the fourth. Then, the Islanders added three more in the top of the fifth to take an 8-5 advantage. Garcia had a sac fly, and Washington and Nottebrok added run-scoring hits in the frame to put the Islanders up three.
Iowa, though, countered with two runs on one hit in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to one against Meza. At that point, both bullpens settled in. The Islanders got a run on Garcia's second homer of the season in the top of the seventh, but the Hawkeyes used small ball to manufacture single runs in both the seventh and the eighth to tie the score, then got the win in extras.
In the second game, Jeramie Marek went 4-for-4, while Perales, Holland and Santiago Ruiz each had two hits. Ruiz and Holland had a pair of RBI each. Ian Campbell threw 6 1/3 solid innings, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out eight in a no-decision.
Early on, game two was a tremendous pitcher's duel between starters Robbie Kilcrease and Campbell, as the two squads went to the seventh inning deadlocked at 0-0. Campbell punched out seven over the first six innings, surrendering five hits, while Kilcrease allowed just four hits and two walks through the sixth.
In the seventh, though, the Islanders were able to crack the scoreboard and manufacture three runs. Perales and Holland delivered back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Washington then tried to get a bunt down, but the Red Raiders retired Perales at the plate for the first out. Chris Vergne delivered a walk to load the bases, then Nottebrok drove home a run on an RBI fielder's choice for a 1-0 lead. Nottebrok advanced to second on a steal and Ruiz drove home both Washington and Nottebrok on a single for a 3-0 lead.
But the Red Raiders responded with four of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Two walks and a single loaded the bags for Stephen Hagen, and the first baseman cleared them with a double to right center to tie the game at 3-3 and chase Campbell from the game. Bo Altobelli followed with a pinch-hit single to make it 4-3 in favor of the home squad.
Again, the back-and-forth continued in the top of the eighth. Marek and Perales had singles to bookend a groundout, and Holland ripped a double to left center to score both and give the Islanders a 5-4 advantage. But Texas Tech exploited the Islanders' wildness on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, using two walks and two hit batsmen to tie the score. Reid Redman then delivered a single up the middle to win the game for the Red Raiders.
The Islanders will take on Iowa on Monday at noon in Lubbock. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi then concludes the Texas Tech Invitational with a matchup against Texas Tech on Tuesday, March 15, at 1 p.m.