Islanders Bats Explode For Eight-Run Ninth in Victory

SAN MARCOS -

The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi baseball team scored eight runs in the top of the ninth inning to turn a 5-3 deficit into an 11-5 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Friday evening at Bobcat Stadium. Caleb Marx and Jumpy Garcia both went deep in the ninth to propel the Islanders (37-23) to the win.

Jeramie Marek went 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, while Garcia went 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. Trey Hernandez, Chris Vergne and Marx each had two hits in the victory. Darren Crabtree, Bryson Myles and Jarid Scarafiotti each delivered two hits in the loss for SFA (36-22), with Crabtree knocking in three runs.

Phillip Garcia got the win out of the pen to improve to 3-1 on the season, punching out one in 2/3 of an inning. Jason West collected the loss, as he allowed four runs without retiring a batter.

Trailing 5-3 heading into the ninth, Marx pinch-hit to start the frame and obliterated a West offering for a solo homer to trim it to 5-4. Marek then drew a walk to represent the tying run, and Matt Holland ripped a double to left center, plating Marek to tie the game 5-5. The double, Holland's 20th of the year, tied the Islanders single-season record and extended the senior's hitting streak to 17 games.

Holland gave way to pinch-runner Sean Washington at second, and Hernandez followed with a walk. After Vergne moved the runners into scoring position with a groundout, the Jacks intentionally walked Jacob Perales to load the bases. Reliever Brad Oates then had his first pitch to Weston Montgomery bounce off the front of the plate, and Washington flew home on the wild pitch for a 6-5 lead.

Another intentional walk loaded the bases for Logan Nottebrok, who beat out a potential double-play ball to score the seventh run. Garcia then delivered the knockout blow with a three-run homer to left center to make it 10-5, and a Marek RBI single plated the final tally. Roy Ferdin came on to get the final three outs for the Islanders.

The Lumberjacks cracked the scoreboard first with a run on two hits in the bottom of the opening frame. Garrett Smith started the rally with a one-out single to left center and then moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Crabtree followed, and grounded a 3-2 pitch just out of the reach of a diving Hernandez for an RBI single and a 1-0 lead.

In the third, SFA doubled its lead. Myles delivered a leadoff infield single, but a pair of fielder's choices left Crabtree at first with two down. The first baseman executed a delayed steal to move into scoring possession, then came home when Scarafiotti dribbled a single up the middle for an RBI base knock and a 2-0 advantage.

The Islanders responded with a run in the top of the fourth to trim the lead to 2-1. Hernandez led off with a double to right center, then moved up to third base when West's pickoff attempt went into center field. Vergne followed, and rapped a single up the middle to plate his classmate and make the score 2-1.

In the top of the fifth, the Islanders rallied to garner their first lead of the contest. Jumpy Garcia led off by roping a double to right center, then moved to third on a Drew Vest sac bunt. Marek followed and blooped a single behind the second baseman for an RBI to tie the game 2-2. Marek then swiped his second base of the day, and Hernandez came through again, singling to center for a 3-2 Islanders lead.

The lead was shortlived, though, as the Jacks scored two runs on two hits and two errors in the bottom of the fifth to regain a 4-3 advantage. Crabtree delivered the big base knock, slicing a single to center for a pair of RBI. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth, when SFA tacked on an insurance run on a Jordan Lewis RBI single to make it 5-3 before the Islanders unleashed their onslaught in the ninth.

The Islanders and Lumberjacks will now go head-to-head in an elimination contest on Saturday, with the winner bound for the championship game. The game will be a 9 a.m. start. Stay tuned to GoIslanders.com and Southland.org for all the latest.