CORPUS CHRISTI – Daniel Minor had a career day on Sunday, striking out batter after batter from the UTSA Roadrunners on his way to a career-high 14 punchouts and a complete-game shutout. His performance led the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team to a 1-0 victory to clinch the Southland Conference series.
The Islanders improved to 9-8 on the year and are 2-1 in league play after picking up the rubber game on Sunday. UTSA is now 9-6 overall, 1-2 in Southland play. Daniel Minor went the distance, tossing 9.0 innings and giving up just four hits and one walk in addition to the 14 K's to improve to 3-1 on the year.
Michael Kraft of UTSA was tagged with the hard-luck loss, pitching 7.0 innings and giving up just one run on five hits while walking three and striking out four.
The 14 strikeouts were the most since 14 by Omar Gutierrez in 2008, also against UTSA, and were three short of the all-time Islanders record of 17 by Mike Garcia against Texas Southern in 2004.
Minor set the pace early on, striking out two UTSA hitters in each of the first three innings, while getting one swinging in the fourth.
In a game where both teams had their chances early on, neither of the squads were able to break through until the bottom of the fourth. In the first three innings, the Islanders bounced into two doubles plays, but hard running by Kyle Danford would be the key to the only run of the contest.
The Islanders fourth started out with an Eric Weiss walk. Danford stepped to the plate and perfectly placed a ball through the right side of the infield on a hit-and-run to put runners at first and third with one out. Brad Porras came to the plate and hit a grounder to the shortstop in what looked like it would be another inning-ending double play. Another hit-and-run was on, however, and Danford beat the throw to second while Weiss scored to make it a 1-0 game.
That would be all Minor would need, as he set down two in the sixth, one in the seventh, two in the eighth and two more in the ninth to reach 14 on the day.
Minor lowered his ERA for the season to 1.29 with the shutout. It was the second complete-game shutout of the season for the Islanders, with Adam Hoelscher tossing the other in the season opener.
With no midweek games on the schedule during Spring Break, next up for the Islanders will be a Southland Conference weekend series against Southeastern Louisiana on March 16-18 at Chapman Field.
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|Postgame Interview with Coach Scott Malone||Daniel Minor's 14 Strikeouts|