Closer Michael Boyle matched the school record with his seventh save of the season as the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team edged Houston-Victoria 7-6 on Thursday night. Trey Hernandez and Chris Vergne each hit solo home runs in the win for the Islanders (21-12).
Matt Holland went 2-for-4 with a two-run double in the ninth inning to give the Islanders a one-run lead. Bobby Buckner went 2-for-5 in the win, while Hernandez and Jacob Perales each added two hits as well.
Philip Garcia got the win out of the bullpen for the Islanders, while Brett Carnline struck out eight in six innings in a no-decision. Boyle retired all three batters he faced to match the Islanders' record for both single-season and career saves. Pete Ontiveros was carded with the loss in relief for UHV.
After the two teams played scoreless baseball for the first two innings, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi broke the 0-0 tie in the top of the third. With two away, Vergne came to the plate and ripped a ball over the wall in right for his second bomb of the season to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors. It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth, when the Jaguars knotted the score against Carnline. With one away, UHV used a solo shot of its own to make it 1-1. Austin Kent took a Carnline delivery and sent it out of the park to left for his eighth homer of the season.
The longball continued to do damage in the fifth. After Carnline got the first out, Jeremy Urbano singled to left center to start the rally. Brandon Bohanon followed, and the catcher was able to turn on a pitch for a two-run bomb to make it a 3-1 lead in favor of the home squad.
The Islanders got a run back on Hernandez' ninth homer of the year. The senior led off the sixth by drilling a ball out to left to trim the deficit to 3-2. It was the first baseman's 48th career homer, as he continues to add to his school record. The Islanders put two on with two out for Hernandez in the seventh, but the veteran was called out on strikes to end the threat.
In the eighth, the visitors finally scored a run without using the longball. Holland led off with a single, and after a fielder's choice, Caleb Marx found himself on first with one away. Buckner then followed with a single to center, and after the ball was mishandled by the center fielder, Marx came around to score the tying run. Jeramie Marek was then hit by a pitch to put two on with one away, and after a flyout, Perales delivered a single up the middle to score Buckner for a 4-3 Islanders lead.
The Jags came right back, though, and back-to-back triples in the bottom of the eighth made it a 4-4 game. A Garcia wild pitch then allowed the fifth UHV run to score as the home team regained a one-run advantage. But Garcia bounced back to get the next two hitters to keep it a 5-4 game heading to the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, Weston Montgomery drew a leadoff walk for the Islanders and Vergne followed with a walk of his own. A Hernandez flyout moved Montgomery to third, and with runners at the corners and one away, Holland came to the plate. The senior then ripped a ball to the gap in left center to score a pair of runs and give the visitors a 6-5 lead. Buckner added an RBI triple to push the advantage to 7-5.
UHV got a leadoff double off Garcia to lead off the frame, and Boyle came on in search of his seventh save. A foulout moved the runner to third on the first out of the inning, and a sac fly then scored the sixth Jaguars run. But Boyle got the final out on a groundout to second as the Islanders held on for the 7-6 win.
The Islanders are back in action on Friday night when they open a three-game series at Lamar. First pitch in the opener is set for 6:30 p.m. in Beaumont. Live audio and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com.