April 22, 2011

Efferson's Gem Leads Southeastern Past Islanders

HAMMOND, La. -

Brandon Efferson allowed just one hit over 7 2/3 innings to lift the Southeastern Louisiana baseball team to an 11-2 victory over Texas A&M - Corpus Christi on Thursday night at Alumni Field. Joe Sparacino went 3-for-4 with a home run in the win for the Lions (25-14, 11-8 Southland).

Matt Holland had the lone hit for the Islanders (22-20, 7-12), as he launched a double off the wall in left center in the seventh inning. Josh Cryer went 2-for-2 with three RBI for Southeastern, while Brock Hebert added two hits as well.

Efferson walked six and struck out seven, as one of the two runs he allowed was earned in improving to 7-2 on the year. Ian Campbell was carded with the loss, surrendering eight hits in his five innings of work.

The Lions struck first with an unearned run in the bottom of the second. Jeff Harkensee led off with a single through the right side and advanced to second on a sac bunt. Cass Hargis then grounded to third, but Bobby Buckner's throw went wide of first to allow Harkensee to score for a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Southeastern added five more runs, using four hits and two Islanders errors to make it 6-0. Jonathan Pace had a two-run double in the inning, and a squeeze bunt by Cryer scored two more runs in the frame. In the fourth, Sparacino added a two-run homer to right for an 8-0 lead in favor of the home squad.

Meanwhile, Efferson continued to roll, shutting down the Islanders inning after inning. Through six frames, the righty had allowed just one base runner - Buckner on a second-inning walk. But in the seventh, the visitors cracked the scoreboard. Omar Garcia got on base via an error, and Holland rocked the next pitch to deep left center. The ball carried high off the wall above the yellow line for an apparent home run, but the umpires ruled that it hit below the line and Holland was forced to settle for a double. Trey Hernandez then scored Garcia on a line-drive sac fly.

After the Lions scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 10-1, the Islanders got a run back in the top of the eighth without the benefit of a hit. Efferson walked two and hit one to load the bases with nobody out, and a double play scored a run to make it 10-2. The Islanders went on to load the bases again with two more walks, but reliever Jacob Ott retired Weston Montgomery to end the threat. Southeastern tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth to result in the final score.

The Islanders and Southeastern continue their series Friday night for a 6 p.m. contest, with the series finale slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. Live audio and statistics for both games will be available at GoIslanders.com.