Simko Delivers Gem to Lift Islanders to Victory

SAN MARCOS -

Junior Todd Simko allowed just three hits and three walks in a complete game to lead the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team to a 4-1 win over Lamar on Thursday at the Southland Conference Tournament. Lamar, the 2010 Tournament Champion, was eliminated from the postseason with the loss.

Simko punched out seven in going the distance for the Islanders (35-23), and improved to 10-6 on the season with the victory. His 10 wins are a new single-season record for the Islanders. Over his last six starts, Simko is 5-0 with just 25 hits allowed in 45 innings of work, a .158 batting average against.

Zach Boulanger got a spot start and didn't get out of the first inning, collecting the loss for the Cardinals. Machon Trimm pitched brilliantly out of the pen for Lamar, allowing just five hits and three walks in 6 2/3 shutout innings.

Matt Holland went 2-for-4 in the game to register his sixth straight multi-hit contest and extend his overall hitting streak to 15 games. Holland is now hitting .403 on the season for the Islanders. Bobby Buckner also had two hits for the victors, while Caleb Marx delivered a key two-run single early on.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi got out to a hot start in the first, putting four runs on the board. Buckner led off with a single and advanced to second on a Jeramie Marek sacrifice. Holland followed by rolling a ball through the left side to plate Buckner to make it 1-0. The Cardinals then walked the next three batters, scoring Holland for a 2-0 Islanders edge. That brought Marx to the dish, and the senior shot a single through the left side to score two more and make it 4-0.

That was more than enough for Simko, who dominated all game. The junior allowed two hits with two down in the bottom of the third, one a squibber on the infield and the other a liner that fell just in front of Jacob Perales in right field. But the southpaw bounced back by getting a flyout to left to end the inning.

Lamar plated an unearned run on a hit, a walk, an error and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. With one away, Simko surrendered a walk to Pablo Salinas, then got a potential double-play ball that was mishandled by Weston Montgomery at short. A single to left loaded the bases, and the Cardinals got Andy Mena to hit a foulout to deep left to plate their only run of the ballgame.

But from then on, Simko bore down, allowing just a walk to pinch-hitter Andrew Dewey with two out in the seventh. He had 1-2-3 innings in the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth, retiring 17 of the last 18 he faced for the complete-game victory. The lefty lowered his season ERA to 4.43 in his third CG of the year.

The Islanders will now face the loser of this afternoon's game between UTSA and Stephen F. Austin on Friday morning at 9 a.m. Live audio and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com, with live video on Southland.org via SLC Now. Stay tuned to GoIslanders.com for all the latest on Islanders Baseball.