March 20, 2011

Baseball Rallies Past Nicholls with Six-run Ninth

THIBODAUX, La. -

The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi scored six runs in the ninth inning to rally past Nicholls in an 8-3 victory on Sunday afternoon. The Islanders (15-8, 3-3 Southland) earned their first road series sweep since taking three from Stephen F. Austin in April 2008. The ninth inning was kind to the Islanders all weekend, as the visitors plated 14 runs in the final frame during the three-game series.

Jeramie Marek had three hits, two on bunts, to lead the Islanders' 11-hit attack, scoring twice. Matt Holland and Santiago Ruiz each had two hits, while Holland and Jacob Perales had two RBI apiece. Chase Jaramillo had three hits for Nicholls (7-11, 0-6) in a losing effort.

On the mound, Justin Meza had a stellar outing, scattering four hits and punching out seven in a career-high seven innings. The freshman walked just two and allowed one earned run in a no-decision. Brett Carnline got the win with 1 1/3 hitless innings, while Philip Garcia finished off the game by tossing the final 2/3. Mike Wisecarver pitched well for the Colonels in a no-decision, allowing seven hits and two walks in seven frames.

Tied 2-2, the Islanders scored six in the top of the ninth to make it an 8-2 ballgame. Chris Vergne led off with a walk, and then Weston Montgomery dropped down a bunt that pitcher Dylan Delaune threw into center field. With two on and none out, Marek delivered another brilliant bunt, reaching on a bunt single to third to load the bags. Trey Hernandez was then retired on a shallow flyout to center for the game's first out.

With the bases still loaded and one away, Perales was hit by a pitch to score the go-ahead run and make it 3-2. Holland followed by ripping a double over the centerfielder's head to score a pair and push the score to 5-2 Islanders. Drew Vest then singled in another run, and Jumpy Garcia brought a run home on a sac fly to deep left for a 7-2 lead, and Vest scored when Logan Nottebrok reached on an error to make it 8-2. The Colonels rallied to score a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Phillip Garcia got out of the jam and stranded the bases loaded to end the game.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi got on the board in the top of the second, using a pair of hits and a walk to plate a run. Ruiz hit a one-out single through the left side, then Jumpy Garcia drew a walk to put two on. After a flyout moved Ruiz to third, Sean Washington came through in the clutch, ripping the first pitch he saw up the middle for an RBI single to make it 1-0.

The Islanders pushed the lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth. Marek delivered a one-out bunt single and stole second to move into scoring position. Two batters later, Jacob Perales ripped a single through the left side to score Marek for a 2-0 lead. Holland followed with a double to right, but Perales held up at third, and the Islanders were unable to push another run across.

Nicholls struck back with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Scott Moseley led off by bouncing a ball through the right side. He then took off for second, and the throw down got away from Marek and into center to put him at third with nobody out. Meza got a grounder for the first out, but Garcia mishandled an offering from the Moody grad and Moseley scored to make it a 2-1 game.

The Colonels tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. Moseley drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a groundout. Meza induced a groundball off the bat of Mike Barba, but the bounding ball glanced off Weston Montgomery's glove and into left field to score Moseley and tie the game 2-2. The Islanders then delivered their rally in the ninth.

The Islanders return home this week for a Tuesday game against UT-Brownsville at 2 p.m. before playing host to McNeese State for a three-game series at Whataburger Field over the weekend. Live video and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com.