ISLANDERS VS. UHV • Victoria, Texas
Thursday, April 8 • 5 p.m.
ISLANDERS: RHP Brett Carnline (5-2, 5.32) | UHV: TBA
ISLANDERS VS. LAMAR • Beaumont, Texas
Friday, April 9 • 6:30 p.m.
ISLANDERS: RHP Ian Campbell (4-2, 3.33) | LAMAR: RHP Shane Hamaker (4-3, 2.87)
Saturday, April 10 • 2 p.m.
ISLANDERS: RHP Justin Meza (2-1, 5.01) | LAMAR: RHP Blake Ford (4-2, 2.18)
Sunday, April 11 • 1 p.m.
ISLANDERS: LHP Todd Simko (5-4, 5.91) | LAMAR: TBA
THE FIRST PITCH
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team heads to the road for four games in four days over the weekend. The Islanders will take on Houston-Victoria on Thursday evening in Victoria, then continue on to Beaumont for a three-game set against the Cardinals.
The Islanders sit at 20-12, and have lost four straight games after a string of eight straight got them off to the best start in school history. Most recently, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi fell to No. 8 Texas, 8-1, on Tuesday night in front of a crowd of 6,159 at Whataburger Field.
UHV is 21-19 on the year, while Lamar enters this weekend at 20-12 and 7-5 in Southland action. The Cardinals defeated the University of Houston 5-2 on Wednesday night.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Islanders are 2-0 against UHV all-time, winning 5-1 in a home game in 2009 and 13-6 on the road last year. Against Lamar, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 6-24. The Cardinals have taken five of the last six matchups and are 9-3 against the Islanders in Southland Conference action.
On Tuesday night, the Islanders played host to their second-largest crowd ever, as 6,159 people came through the turnstiles at Whataburger Field to watch them take on No. 8. Texas. The top crowd in program history was the previous time the Longhorns visited, when 7,002 people came to Whataburger Field. The previous largest crowd of the season was 3,023 for the Oregon State game.
Senior first baseman Trey Hernandez has gotten off to a hot start at the plate in 2011, and with two homers last weekend, he now has 47 for his career, the all-time leader for the Islanders.
The senior had just three hits against UTSA, but two were homers. The prior week, he went 7-for-14 with three home runs, nine RBI, six runs and two doubles in four games. He slugged 1.286 over the quartet of contests to earn Southland Conference Hitter of the Week honors.
Hernandez is in the top 10 of almost every offensive category in the conference, including slugging (.679, 1st), home runs (8, 2nd), RBI (34, 5th), runs (34, 3rd), walks (27, 3rd) and doubles (11, 4th).
Hernandez is also the school's all-time leader in RBI (186) and will look to make a run at 50 homers and 200 driven in during his senior campaign. The Robstown native was a Freshman All-American in 2008 and has earned Southland Player of the Week honors three times in his career.
THE RIGHTY STICK
Somewhat overshadowed by Matt Holland, Trey Hernandez and Week 1 Southland Conference Hitter of the Week Chris Vergne, righty Jacob Perales has been one of the team's best hitters in the first 32 games. The Moody High alum leads the team with a .381 average and is among the team leaders with three homers and 32 RBI.
Perales' performance at Nicholls and the Texas Tech Invitational earned him SLC honorable mention. The senior hit .429 with 11 RBI in five games, including eight RBI in the series at Nicholls. His best game of the season saw him go 3-for-5 with five RBI to lead the Islanders in Saturday's 12-1 rout. The Corpus Christi native now has 19 career home runs to place him sixth in Islanders lore.
NOTT IS HOT
Freshman Logan Nottebrok came into his debut season with plenty of potential, a professional body and an impressive arm on the left side of the infield. But as of late, he has really rallied to fulfill that potential.
The San Antonio native reveled in his return to his hometown over the weekend, going 6-for-10 in the series at UTSA with three runs and his first career homer, a line shot to left center on Friday.
The weekend performance just was the latest in an 19-game stretch that has seen several Islanders catch fire. Nottebrok has gone 13-for-38 (.342 average) and scored six runs over the last 19 games. He also has posted 25 chances without an error.
MAREK RUNS WILD
The Islanders may not have a better small-ball player than junior Jeramie Marek. The Corpus Christi native is hitting .348 - just outside the conference's top 15 - with a .402 on-base percentage.
In conference play, those numbers are even better. The junior is hitting .432 with a .489 on-base percentage and has scored nine times. He is currently third in the Southland in average and sixth in OBP during league contests.
He may be the only player on the team that is hotter than Nottebrok. Over the aforementioned 19-game string, Marek is hitting .397 with 12 runs and four steals.
Another that has put forth an impressive performance at the plate is junior Weston Montgomery. With his recent hot streak, he now has a .342 average, the fourth-highest mark on the team.
The soft-spoken Ennis, Texas, native has hit six doubles and one triple on the year, matching his doubles total from last year already. He worked hard in the offseason away from the diamond, adding about 20 pounds of muscle.
In that same 19-game stretch, Montgomery is hitting .368 with a .486 slugging percentage and all six of his doubles on the year.