April 6, 2011

Longhorns Pitching Upends Islanders, 8-1

CORPUS CHRISTI - Drew Vest

's leadoff single in the ninth inning off reliever Josh Urban broke-up Texas' no-hit bid, but the Longhorns posted an 8-1 victory over the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team on Tuesday night at Whataburger Field. UT starter Sam Stafford did not allow a hit and walked four in seven shutout innings for the win in front of a crowd of 6,159 at Whataburger Field.

Erich Weiss, Paul Montalbano and Tant Shepherd each had three hits for Texas in the win, with Shepherd driving in three runs. Jacob Perales drove in the only run of the contest in the ninth inning for the Islanders. With the home team down to its final out and Trey Hernandez on first, Perales crushed a pitch to dead center field for an RBI triple to make the score 8-1 Longhorns.

Todd Simko picked up the loss after allowing three runs in the first two innings. Chris Pena, Justin Meza, Tanner Green and Trevor Foss all tossed shutout frames out of the pen for the Islanders. Stafford struck out 11 men in his 119-pitch performance, while Urban surrendered two hits in the ninth and punched out two.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, UT struck first, as Shepard put the Longhorns up 2-0 after lining a double to right field past a diving Perales to score Mark Payton and Erich Weiss. Simko again ran into a rough spot in the top of the second inning after a two-out single to Paul Montalbano. Montalbano advanced to third base following a stolen base and a throwing error on Jumpy Garcia. Brandon Loy then dropped a single just in front of Chris Vergne, making the score 3-0 Texas.

Roland Botello came in relief in the third inning, opening the inning with a leadoff walk to Lucas Kephart. Shepard moved Kephart to second with a hard single to left field, and then Jordan Etier moved the base runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Kevin Lusson that made the score 4-0 visitors on an infield single, then Jacob Felts drove in another run on a ground out to Logan Nottebrok. Montalbano delivered the third run of the inning off Botello with a single up the middle, putting the deficit at 6-0.

From then on, the Islanders pen settled in, as Chris Pena put the first zero on the scoreboard for the home team working around a two-out single in the fourth. Justin Meza came in relief in the top of the fifth inning and posted 1-2-3 inning with a punchout. Tanner Green kept the Longhorns off the scoreboard for the third straight inning with a scoreless sixth, including a strikeout of Jacob Felts.

Meanwhile, Stafford was dominant, punching out the side in the fourth and finishing his outing with two strikeouts and a fielder's choice in the seventh. He walked Jumpy Garcia twice in the contest, and also surrendered free passes to Perales and Matt Holland.

The Horns put solo tallies on the board in the seventh and ninth to push the lead to 8-0. Vest, in his first and only plate appearance of the game, lined a 1-2 pitch into center field to break up the Longhorns no-hitter. Perales later put the Islanders on the scoreboard with his two-out triple to that scored Hernandez from first.

Next up for the Islanders will be a Thursday night meeting at Houston-Victoria at 5 p.m. Live stats and audio for the game will be available on GoIslanders.com.