Santiago Ruiz Walk-off Single Sends Islanders to 4-3 Victory
CORPUS CHRISTI – In 26 innings of the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team's three-game Southland Conference series against Texas State, the Islanders were able to muster a total of just two runs. Luckily they played 27, as Santiago Ruiz finished off the ninth-inning rally with a single to plate Kyle Danford and Jeramie Marek, and give his team a dramatic 4-3 win over the Bobcats on Saturday afternoon.
The Islanders improved to 13-18 on the year, 6-9 in Southland games. Texas State is now 20-11 overall, 8-7 in league play. Daniel Minor started and gave up three runs on eighth hits, while walking two and striking out nine Texas State batters. Tanner Green came on to face the final batter in the top of the ninth, getting a strikeout and the win after the rally in the bottom half of the inning, to improve to 2-0 on the year.
In the second low-scoring game of the series, the teams were scoreless early on until the Bobcats picked up a single run in the third inning to make it a 1-0 game.
With the Bobcats leading, the Islanders tied the score in the bottom of the sixth with a single run of their own. Drew Vest led off the inning with a walk, and moved to third base as Jordan Lee singled to left, and moved to second on an error by the Bobcats.
Texas State regained the lead in the top of the eighth, as they scored two runs off of Minor to knock him out of the game and take a 3-1 lead.
Things looked bleak for the Islanders, as they went down in order in the eighth, and after a bizarre top of the ninth, were down to their final three outs. Jonathan Gonzales started things off with a walk, and after a pitching change, was lifted for pinch runner Weston Montgomery.
A strikeout followed for the first out, but it would be the only out the Bobcats would record in the tense final inning.
Danford followed with a single to left to put runners on first and second, and Marek followed with a weakly hit ball that found the outfield grass for a single to load the bases. Marc Damon came on to pinch hit, and drew a walk to force in a run, making it 3-2.
Ruiz followed next with the decisive at bat, seeing seven pitches before hitting a 2-2 pitch to right center field to bring home Danford and a sliding Marek to end the game. The Islanders celebrated the big win at home as they mobbed Ruiz after he came up with the big hit.
It was the only hit of the day for Ruiz, and it could not have come at a bigger time, with the two RBI leading the team. Jordan Lee and Danford each had two hits to lead the Islanders, while Brantley and Damon each had one RBI in the game.
Next up for the Islanders will be a midweek game against the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday at Disch-Falk Field in Austin. Fans will be able to watch the game even if they are unable to attend, as it will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
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