LIVE VIDEO/STATISTICS: GoIslanders.com
Tuesday, April 12 • 2 p.m.
ISLANDERS: RHP Brett Carnline (5-2, 5.16) | UTPA: TBA
THE FIRST PITCH
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team begins a four-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon when it takes on Texas-Pan American in its final home non-conference contest. The Islanders come in having lost their last two, falling in the final pair of contests at Lamar, while UTPA is on a four-game winning streak after taking all four contests at Chicago State last weekend.
The Islanders currently sit at 22-14, having already secured the highest win total since the 2008 season. The Islanders are off to their best start since the 2003 squad opened the year 29-14 en route to a 33-17 finish.Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 10-6 in home games, including a 6-1 mark at Chapman Field. The Islanders are 15-6 in non-conference contests.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Islanders and Broncs have faced off 56 times, with Texas A&M - Corpus Christi leading the series 29-27. In Scott Malone's tenure, the Islanders have a 12-4 record against UTPA, including sweeping a doubleheader on March 8 in Edinburg, 6-0 and 7-5. Ian Campbell pitched six shutout innings in game one, and then Sean Washington drove in three in the nightcap. The Islanders have won six straight against their closest geographical Division I rival.
SCOUTING THE BRONCS
UTPA sits at 13-10 overall following their four-game sweep of Chicago State. Stuart MacInnes leads the regulars with his .377 average, while Vincent Mejia and Roger Bernal are both hitting .333. As a team, the Broncs have a .291 average and have had seven different players his home runs on the year.
On the mound, the team has a 4.09 ERA, led by Michael Zouzalik among the starters. Zouzalik has started five games with a 3.49 ERA on the year. Jonathan Sa has made nine appearances out of the pen with a 2.52 ERA.
SPEAK SOFTLY, AND CARRY A BIG STICK
Teddy Roosevelt wasn't speaking of senior Matt Holland when he uttered that, but there may be no phrase that applies better for the Watkins, Iowa, native. Holland, who is in the Southland's top 10 in doubles, triples and home runs on the year, is a very measured individual. And though he is an important leader for the Islanders, he does so by example.
He leads the team with his 15 multi-hit games and 12 contests with more than one RBI. With 13 two-baggers, he is just seven shy of the season record.
At UTSA, the lefty rocked his third and fourth homers of the year, the latter a mammoth shot that cleared the batter's eye in center, 405 feet from the plate. He had three hits, a run and an RBI in the opener with Lamar and a clutch two-run double at Houston-Victoria to give him 33 RBI on the season.
But his performance against Texas Tech on March 12 was by far
his most impressive of the season. The senior went 4-for- 6 and hit
for the Islanders' first cycle of the season and the first since Jacob
Perales turned the trick against UTPA last year. Needing a
longball to complete the trick with two down in the ninth and the
bases loaded, Holland ripped a 2-0 pitch over the wall in right for
a grand slam to finish off the cycle.
Coming into 2011, senior Ian Campbell's role on the team was expected to provide depth to the staff. But his performance as of late has earned him a spot as the Friday starter last weekend.
Campbell showed his worthiness for that selection, as he tossed a four-hit shutout at Lamar on Friday. It was the first complete-game shutout for the Islanders since Roy Ferdin had one in 2008. He did not allow a runner past second base until the ninth inning, and finished off the affair by getting Ted Zentek to go down swinging.
In 11 appearances, including eight starts, Campbell is 5-2 with a staff-leading 2.81 ERA. The senior, who throws four pitches for strikes, has allowed less than one hit per inning and has 46 strikeouts in 57 2/3.
The soft-spoken Glendale, Ariz., native played two years at
Yavapai Junior College before transfering to the Island University
prior to the 2010 season. He went 3-5 with an 8.17 ERA in 2010 for
Alvin Community College transfer Michael Boyle had saves in his first two career appearances, and with 20 games to go on the year, he has already anointed himself as the Islanders' single-season and career record holder with seven saves.
On Saturday, Feb. 19, against MVSU, the Houston native closed out both of the Islanders' wins in the doubleheader, earning his first two career saves.
In the win over Oregon State, he proved his gutsiest, punching out four in 1 2/3 and stranding the tying run on third. He struck out the side in the ninth to send the crowd of 3,000-plus to its feet in sealing the win. He has since posted four more saves, including two in conference action.