CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team saw a familiar performance from starter Daniel Minor while the offense added early runs to help the Islanders to a 4-0 lead over Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.
The Islanders evened their record to 10-10 overall and 3-3 in league play. The Lions moved to 15-6 on the year, 3-3 in conference games.
The Islanders avoided the sweep as Minor pitched another gem, striking out 10 Lion batters to extend his scoreless streak to 19.1 innings. He went 8.1 innings, just missing his second straight complete-game shutout when he left the game to a standing ovation from the home crowd. He allowed just six hits and had one walk and he lowered his ERA to 0.99 for the season.
Minor improved to 4-1 this year for the Islanders while Lions starter Josh Janway was tagged with the loss to move to 2-1 on the season.
The Islanders offense that struggled on Saturday was nowhere to be found, as the home team pounded out 10 hits and four runs to salvage the final game. Three players came up with two hits apiece, as Drew Vest, Eric Weiss and Jordan Lee each singled twice. Santiago Ruiz drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly and a ground out. Jeramie Marek had the only other RBI, while Brad Porras came up with the only extra-base hit for the Islanders.
Porras doubled in the third inning to lead things off, while Lee followed with a single to third base that put runners on the corners. That brought Santiago Ruiz to the plate, and saw him hit a long fly ball to center that brought home Porras and made it a 1-0 game.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi added another run in the third inning, as Vest started things off with a single to right. Weiss followed with a hit of his own to put runners on the corners once again. Stafford Brantley batted next, grounding into a double play, but allowing Vest to score to make it 2-0.
The Islanders finished the scoring in the very next inning, plating two runs on three hits to make it a 4-0 game.
Porras once again started the inning, this time by drawing a walk, and moving to second on a balk by Janway. Lee once again followed with a single, this time to center, that put runners on the corners. Ruiz came through with another RBI, this time on a groundout, to score Porras and advance Lee to second base. After a Dan Sciantarelli fly out advanced Lee to third, Jeramie Marek got an RBI single to the shortstop to make it a 4-0 score.
Minor did not allow a runner to reach second base until there were two outs in the sixth inning. It was also the first time the Lions had two hits in the same inning, getting numbers three and four before Weiss made a nice running catch at the foul line in left field to end the inning.
In the seventh, Minor hit his only batter of the day, as the Lions catcher appeared to intentionally stick his elbow into the path of the ball to reach base. He came back with a vengeance after that, striking out the next two batters swinging to finish off the inning with the 4-0 score intact.
Minor started the ninth and got the first out, but was relieved after walking the second batter of the inning. That brought on the standing ovation as the righty has given the home crowd 17.1 straight innings, nearly two complete games, without giving up a run, and ran his total streak to 19.1 after Sunday. Phillip Garcia came on to get the final two batters to seal the victory for his team.
Next up for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will be a Tuesday doubleheader in Edinburg against Texas – Pan American. The Islanders and the Broncs will play a 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. game on the UTPA campus.
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