May 14, 2011

Campbell Pitches Islanders to Ninth Straight Win

CORPUS CHRISTI -

Senior Ian Campbell struck out a career-high 10 batters as the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team toppled Northwestern State 11-5 on Saturday at Chapman Field. With the win the Islanders (31-21, 16-13 Southland) pushed their winning streak to nine games, matching the school record.

Campbell scattered eight hits in six innings and allowed three runs, one earned, in six frames to move to 7-4 on the year. Chris Pena added two perfect innings out of the bullpen for the Islanders. Dustin Northcott was carded with the loss for the Demons (19-31, 9-20) after allowing 10 hits in three-plus innings, with five runs coming across.

All nine Islanders starters hit safely in the game, with Jacob Perales, Bobby Buckner and Santiago Ruiz leading the way by posting three-hit contests. Omar Garcia had two hits and three RBI, while Buckner, Perales and Weston Montgomery each scored twice. Chris Hebert had three hits in the loss.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi got out to a quick start in the first, plating a pair of runs on four hits. Buckner and Jeramie Marek reached on infield singles, but a double play left two out and Buckner on third. Trey Hernandez followed with an RBI infield single of his own, and then Chris Vergne ripped a double to right center to score Hernandez for a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, the Islanders added to their advantage with three runs. Perales led off with a double and he was followed by a Weston Montgomery single that moved him to third. After a wild pitch sent Montgomery to second, Garcia ripped a two-run single to left to make it 4-0. Marek added an RBI bunt single later in the frame to push the advantage to 5-0. But Northwestern State countered with three runs on three hits and an error in the fifth to trim the deficit to 5-3.

The Islanders bounced back with a run in the bottom of the fifth. A single and a walk put two on and two out for the home squad, and Ruiz drilled a single through the left side to plate Montgomery with the sixth run. In the sixth, Marek drew a leadoff walk and a double to right field by Matt Holland scored the speedy second baseman to make it a 7-3 lead.

The home squad added some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. Buckner led off with a single to left, and a sacrifice and a walk put two on with one out. After a flyout, Vergne and Perales had consecutive RBI singles to push the advantage to 9-3. Drew Vest got into the action with an RBI single through the left side and Garcia added a single to right center to make it 11-3. Northwestern State got a pair of runs back in the top of the ninth to result in the final score.

The Islanders and Demons close their series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start. Sunday will be the final game at Chapman Field this year and will be Senior Day, as the Islanders will pay tribute to their 10 seniors, who will be playing in their final home game that afternoon. Senior Day festivities will start at approximately 12:40. With a win, the Islanders would clinch their first Southland Tournament berth since 2008.