The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team (22-15) rallied from an 11-0 deficit to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but was unable to finish off the comeback in a 12-9 defeat at the hands of Texas - Pan American on Tuesday at Chapman Field. Matt Holland hit his fifth home run of the season in a losing effort.
Roger Bernal went 4-for-6 for the Broncs (14-10), while Vincent Mejia added a 3-for-4 day with four RBI. The top four hitters in the UTPA lineup scored 10 of the Broncs' 12 runs and delivered seven of their nine RBI. Logan Nottebrok, Caleb Marx, Omar Garcia and Chris Vergne each had two hits in a losing effort.
Kyle Kotchie picked up the win with 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out two. Alex Jack pitched three shutout innings for the Islanders at the tail end of the game, while Adam Hoelscher added 1 2/3 frames of scoreless baseball.
The Broncs scored four in the first to jump out to an early 4-0 lead off of Brett Carnline. Mejia provided the big blow with a bases-clearing double to score the first three runs of the game. In the second, UTPA tacked on five more runs to push the lead to 9-0. Adrian De La Rosa and Bernal each delivered triples in the frame, with Bernal's scoring a pair of runs. But Chris Pena was able to work his way out of the inning after coming on in relief of Trevor Foss to limit the damage.
In the fourth, the Broncs tacked on two more runs off Pena, as Mejia and Mike McCarthy delivered back-to-back doubles to make it 11-0. The Islanders responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame, though, using four singles to plate two. Trey Hernandez started things with a one-out single, and two batters later Jumpy Garcia added a single of his own. Marx then delivered an RBI infield single, and Omar Garcia followed with an RBI base knock of his own to make it 11-2. The Islanders loaded the bags when Vergne was hit by a pitch, but Jeramie Marek flew out to right to end the threat.
After the Broncs added a run in the top of the fifth, the Islanders put a big number on the board in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs to make it 12-7. Logan Nottebrok led off with a double and Jumpy Garcia followed with a walk. Caleb Marx then plated a run when he ripped a double to score Nottebrok, and Omar Garcia followed with a sac fly. Vergne continued the rally by bringing Marx home on a single up the middle to trim the score to 12-5. Two batters later, Holland came to the plate as a pinch-hitter and ripped a ball over the wall in right center for his fifth longball of the year to make it 12-7.
Alex Jack pitched scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to keep it there, and the Islanders plated a solo run in the bottom of the eighth. Marx drew a leadoff walk, and two batters later, Vergne singled to right. After an errant pickoff throw sent the runners to second and third, Marek posted an RBI fielder's choice to make it a 12-8 game.
After holding the Broncs off the scoreboard in the top of the ninth, the Islanders posted another rally. Jacob Perales drew a leadoff walk, and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nottebrok then brought him home with a single up the middle to make it 12-9. After Jumpy Garcia drew yet another walk to bring the tying run to the plate, the Broncs turned it over to closer Zach Zouzalik. The righty struck out Marx, then retired Bobby Buckner on a groundout to end the contest for his first save of the year.
The Islanders are back in action with a three-game set at Chapman Field this weekend against Stephen F. Austin. The series will start with a Friday game at 2 p.m. Live video and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com.