The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team bashed 16 hits en route to an 8-4 win over UT Arlington on Friday night at Clay Gould Ballpark. Matt Holland and Weston Montgomery had three hits each for the Islanders (27-21, 12-13 Southland), who won their fifth straight game to pull within a game of fifth place.
Caleb Marx had a pair of doubles and drove in two, while Jeramie Marek went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI as well. Marek also had a trio of sparkling defensive plays to lift the Islanders to the win. Jumpy Garcia went 2-for-4 as well. Brian Nephew had a 4-for-4 day in the loss for the Mavericks (25-22, 13-12).
Justin Meza picked up his third win of the season with five innings of work. The freshman allowed just four hits and walked three, but hit four batters in improving to 3-3. Adam Hoelscher had two shutout innings, while Chris Pena and Phillip Garcia finished off the game with a scoreless frame each. Lance Day was carded with the loss after surrendering nine hits in four innings.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi came out red-hot out of the gate, plating three runs in the first. Bobby Buckner led off by lining a single off the pitcher, and then Marek reached on an error when his attempted sacrifice was mishandled. Holland followed by ripping a double to left center to score Buckner for a 1-0 lead. Jacob Perales then looped a single to center to score Marek for a 2-0 advantage. After a fielder's choice put Holland out at home, Perales and Chris Vergne pulled off a double steal, and when the throw went into the outfield, Perales plated the third Islanders run.
In the second, Jumpy Garcia led off with a double into the right-field corner, and consecutive groundouts scored him for a 4-0 lead. But UTA struck back with two runs in the second and one in the third to trim the deficit to 4-3.
In the fourth, Marx led off with a double to right center, and three batters later he came home when Marek ripped a single up the middle to make it 5-3. The fifth saw Holland lead off with a single and advance to second when Perales walked. Vergne then dropped down a bunt and the throw to first went awry, allowing Holland to score the sixth Islanders run.
The Islanders tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh. Vergne led off with an infield single and Montgomery followed with a safe hit of his own. Marx then ripped a double to deep right center, in nearly the same spot as his first two-bagger, to score both runners for an 8-3 Islanders lead. The Mavs plated a run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 8-4, but that is as close as the home team got, with Pena and Phillip Garcia slamming the door in the victory.
The Islanders and Mavs will continue their series on Saturday at 2 p.m. with the finale slated for Sunday at 1. Live audio and statistics will be available for both games on GoIslanders.com.