CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team split a season-opening doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, taking a 3-0 victory over Nebraska Omaha in game one before falling to the Mavs by a 2-1 final in the nightcap. The win to open the year was also the 100th of head coach Scott Malone's career with the Islanders.
The team is now 1-1 on the year, while UNO is also 1-1 after the split. The two teams will meet again for a doubleheader on Sunday morning beginning at 10 a.m., with the first game being a seven-inning contest and the second a full nine.
Starter Adam Hoelscher pitched masterfully in the first game, giving up just five hits while striking out seven and walking two in nine innings for the first complete game shutout of his career. The junior from Calallen didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning.
The Islanders supplied an early run in the second inning, as Jonathan Gonzales led off the inning with a walk and stole second base. With one out, Kyle Danford singled to center, but Gonzales was thrown out trying to score from second base. After Danford stole second, Dan Sciantarelli reached on an error by the shortstop to move Danford over to third base. Santiago Ruiz then followed with another ball to the shortstop that resulted in an error and a 1-0 lead as Danford scored.
The score would remain the same behind the pitching of Hoelscher until the Islanders added some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. In that inning, Jeramie Marek led off with a double down the left field line, while Stafford Brantley and Brad Porras followed with back-to-back hit-by-pitches to load the bases. That brought Bobby Buckner up, who came up big for the Islanders with a two-RBI single to right field to make it a 3-0 game.
After that, Hoelscher slammed the door on the Mavs in the ninth, finishing a 3-0 shutout for the first win of the year.
In game two, the pitching for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi was staked to an early 1-0 lead after the team scored a run in the bottom of the first. Marek led off the game for the Islanders with a single to center, and then came home to score on the very next at-bat as Brantley doubled to center to score Marek for the early lead.
The pitching for the Islanders held up, as starter Tim Keller tossed five innings, giving up just four hits and two walks while striking out seven batters. Daniel Minor came on in relief and pitched another two innings of shutout ball, striking out four while giving up no hits or walks.
Things turned for the Islanders in the bottom of the eighth, as Nebraska Omaha used three hits and one Islander error to push across two runs off, one earned, off of reliever Jacob Dorris for a 2-1 lead. Phillip Garcia got the Islanders out of a tight spot with the bases loaded, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out the side to limit the damage.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, they were not able to pick up any more runs as they fell by a 2-1 final to split the day.
Both teams will be up bright and early tomorrow, with a 10 a.m. first pitch for both baseball and softball at the Chapman Field complex. The baseball team will again take on UNO in a 7and-9 inning doubleheader, while the softball team will host No. 10 Baylor.
Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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