turned a brilliant double play in the bottom of the eighth to help preserve a 4-2 victory for the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team over UT Arlington on Saturday. The Islanders (28-21, 13-13 Southland) won their sixth straight game to pull into a tie for fifth in the conference.
With the bases loaded and one away in the bottom of the eighth, Vergne grabbed a flyball off pinch-hitter Cody Dyvig's bat and gunned down Preston Beck at the plate to keep the Islanders ahead 3-2. The visitors added an insurance run in the top of the ninth.
Matt Holland went 3-for-4 and scored a pair of runs for the Islanders in the win, while Trey Hernandez had a pair of hits as well. Ryan Walker and Daniel Jordan each had three hits in the loss for the Mavericks (25-23, 13-13).
Ian Campbell collected the win, allowing two runs in seven innings of work. The senior scattered eight hits and struck out four in improving to 6-4. Phillip Garcia worked the last 1 2/3 innings for his fourth save of the season. Calan Pritchard was carded with the loss after allowing three runs in seven innings of work.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi got out to a fast start once again, plating a pair of runs in the first. Hernandez had a one-out single to left and Holland followed with a base hit up the middle. After a strikeout, Weston Montgomery came to the plate and ripped a double off the base of the wall to score both runners and give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Campbell was up to the task of making that lead hold up over the next six frames, surrendering just four hits, three of them infield singles, through the first six innings. Campbell saw just five balls leave the infield over the first six, adding a quartet of punchouts. Pritchard was equal to the task, though, providing bend-but-don't-break pitching, as five Islanders baserunners were stranded in scoring position through six frames.
In the seventh, the Mavs finally were able to claw their way onto the scoreboard. Chad Comer started things with a one-out double, and then with two down, Jordan dribbled a ball through the left side to put runners at the corners. After fighting his way back from behind in the count, Philip Incaviglia walked to load the bases and Walker delivered a two-run single to tie the game 2-2 heading to the eighth.
The Islanders struck back in the top of the eighth, as Holland led off with a single and Jacob Perales followed by lining a double into the right-field corner to score him and give the visitors a 3-2 lead. After a bunt moved Perales to third, though, Jumpy Garcia was unable to score him after popping out and the Islanders had to settle for one run.
In the bottom of the eighth, Beck drew a leadoff walk and Brian Nephew grounded a double past Bobby Buckner into the left-field corner. Chris Pena got a foulout before an intentional walk loaded the bases and Philly Garcia entered the game. That set up Vergne's pivotal double play.
The Islanders added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, as Buckner drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a sacrifice and came around to score on a Hernandez RBI single. In the ninth, the Mavs got a two-out hit off Garcia, but the junior finished it off with a groundout to short to end the game for his fourth save. He is now just one save shy of tying Michael Boyle for the career save record.
The Islanders and Mavs will conclude their series Sunday at 1 p.m. as Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is in search of its fourth sweep of the year. Live audio and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com.