CORPUS CHRISTI - Throughout the summer of 2011, GoIslanders.com will look back at the best moments and athletic performances from the 2010-11 school year.
Every Thursday, we will bring you one of the top 10 individual performances, with Tuesdays bringing the year's top 10 moments. Be sure to keep tabs on GoIslanders.com throughout the summer to celebrate all the great moments.
Top Moment #3: Simko Shuts Down Southeastern
As of April 22, things were looking dreary for the Islanders baseball team. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was in danger of falling to .500 for the first time all season, sitting at 7-13 and 11th in conference play and staring a nine-game losing streak in the face.
So heading into the series finale at Southeastern Louisiana, expectations were low and the Islanders' hopes for a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament were fading fast. Someone needed to step up.
Enter Todd Simko. The big lefty told his Islanders teammates to jump on his back, and he carried them to a brilliant, 7-1 victory over the Lions that day.
The day started by looking bleak as the other two performances. The Islanders committed errors in each of the first two innings, but Simko shrugged them off and put zeroes on the board. And after a four-run top of the third, highlighted by a Matt Holland two-run homer and a two-run single by Jeramie Marek, the Arroyo Grande, Calif., native settled in.
He set down the side 1-2-3 in the third. After a leadoff groundout in the fourth, his bid for a no-hitter was shattered when Jeff Harkensee dribbled a single up the middle. But Simko eliminated the threat with two more groundouts. He retired the first two in the fifth, then a walk and a hit batsman put two on and two out, when Josh Cryer's flyout ended the threat.
Simko mowed through the opposition in the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Working with a 7-0 lead in the eighth, the Lions broke up his shutout bid with the help of a walk and an RBI fielder's choice. The lefty finished off his outing by surrendering a leadoff hit in the ninth, then quickly getting a double play and a groundout to end the game.
The most amazing part of the performance was Simko's ability to get the Lions to continuously pound the ball into the ground. Sixteen of the 25 outs that he recorded came on grounders. It began a run for Simko that led to the junior being drafted in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He posted a 1.99 ERA over his final seven appearances, going 5-0 and surrendering just 25 hits in 45 1/3 innings of work. He delivered all three of his complete games during that string, and punched out 30 opposing batters.
After the game, the Islanders had their return to Corpus Christi delayed because of a flat tire, but that was the only thing that slowed the team down the rest of the season. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi finished the season having won 15 of their last 18 en route to finishing in third place in the Southland and advancing to the final day of the Southland Conference Tournament.
June 16 - #10: Nikki Dunn battles the elements at Rio Verde Invitational
June 23 - #9: Jessica Jammer and Adrienne Scott Go Off Against UTPA
June 30 - #8: Justin Reynolds Scores 26 in Home Finale
July 7 - #7: Mirna Cicak knocks off No. 1 player from defending Southland Champion NW State
July 14 - #6: Patrick Kimeli qualifies for NCAA Championship
July 21 - #5: Emma Ridley has 26 kills and hits .339 in road win at SFA
July 28 - #4: Ryann White rallies for Top-3 Finish at Southland Championship
Aug. 4 - #3: Todd Simko tosses two-hitter at Southeastern
June 21 - #10: Women's Tennis Defeats SFA to Give Them Fourth Loss of Year
June 28 - #9: Softball's Crazy Comeback Wins
July 5 - #8: Baseball's walk-off win over UTSA and comeback win over SFA at Southland Tournament
July 12 - #7: Men's Hoops Knocks Off Houston
July 19 - #6: Ernestine Cray Named Southland Freshman of the Year
July 26 - #5: Men's Tennis Clinches Regular Season Title
Aug. 2 - #4: Volleyball sweeps SFA