Demons Snap Islanders Win Streak with Six-Run Seventh
Northwestern State scored six times in the seventh inning en route to a 9-5 win to snap a nine-game winning streak for the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team on Sunday at Chapman Field. Matt Holland went 3-for-5 with his 10th homer of the season in his final home game for the Islanders (31-22, 16-14 Southland).
Will Watson's bases-clearing triple snapped a 4-4 deadlock in the top of the seventh and the Demons (20-31, 10-20) never looked back in taking the series finale. Aaron Munoz and Ray Frias each had two hits in the win for Northwestern State. Jacob Perales and Chris Vergne had a pair of hits apiece in their Chapman Field finale, while Santiago Ruiz added two base knocks of his own.
Scanio improved to 6-0 out of the pen, scattering seven hits and allowing just one run in four innings of work. Colin Bear was credited with a no-decision for NW State, as was the Islanders' Todd Simko. Simko allowed just four hits and two walks in 6 1/3, punching out seven. Adam Hoelscher collected the loss out of the pen with three runs allowed in 1/3 of an inning.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Jeramie Marek led off with a double just inside the right-field line and moved to third on a Perales groundout. Trey Hernandez then added an RBI groundout to make it 1-0. The Demons manufactured a run in similar fashion in the top of the third, getting a sac fly from Frias to tie it up 1-1.
In the bottom of the third, the Islanders put a crooked number on the board. Perales led off with a triple to right center and Hernandez followed by drawing a walk. Holland came to the plate and struck out, but on the pitch Hernandez swiped second to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Weston Montgomery then delivered a sac fly to center, plating Perales for a 2-1 lead and sending Hernandez to third. Vergne then delivered a high chopper to second for an infield single to score Hernandez and make it a 3-1 lead.
Perales and Holland combined to plate the Islanders' fourth run in the bottom of the fifth. Perales started the rally with a slicing double down the right-field line. After Hernandez went down swinging, Holland picked him up by lining a ball to center field to make it a 4-1 game for his 47th RBI of the season.
But Northwestern State's previously silent bats came alive in the top of the seventh to plate six runs for a 7-4 lead. In the inning, the Demons used four hits and a pair of Islanders walks in a wild inning. The key play came to start the inning, as Simko got Stephen Gandy to swing over the top of a breaking ball for a strikeout, but the ball skipped off the front of the plate and to the backstop to send Gandy to first. A double, a bunt single and a sacrifice followed, and Simko gave way to Hoelscher.
Hoelscher allowed an RBI single to Frias to make it 4-3, then Drew Helenihi executed a squeeze to tie the game 4-4. After back-to-back walks, the first intentional, Chris Pena came on with the bases loaded and two down, only to see Watson rip his triple to right center to clear the bases for a 7-4 lead. Scanio shut down the Islanders from there on, allowing only Holland's ninth inning solo homer, while the Demons tacked on two more runs in the ninth to result in the final score.
Prior to the game, the Islanders celebrated the careers of their 10 seniors. Perales, Hernandez, Holland, Vergne, Pena, Ian Campbell, Brett Carnline, Roy Ferdin, Trenton Irwin and Caleb Marx were all honored in the Senior Day festivities.
The Islanders return to action next week with a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series at Sam Houston State to close out the regular season. Live audio and statistics will be available all weekend on GoIslanders.com.