CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team held on late for a 6-5 win over Texas – Pan American on Tuesday night at Chapman Field. The game was the final midweek contest of the year for the Islanders.
They improve to 17-24 overall on the season, while the Broncs fall to 23-14 overall. Tim Keller started the game and earned the win for the Islanders, getting his first win of the season to move to 1-5 on the year. In a game designated as staff by Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, Keller pitched 3.0 innings and gave up just two hits while striking out two and walking two. Trevor Belicek pitched 2.0 innings, while Marc Damon, Tyler Schnuriger, Tanner Green and Phillip Garcia pitched an inning apiece.
Garcia tied the single-season school record with his seventh save of the year, battling through two runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout in the ninth inning to finish the game for the Islanders.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi got on the board first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third against the third pitcher of the game for UTPA. Kyle Danford reached on an error by the shortstop and Jordan Lee singled to right, while Danford moved to second on the hit and third on an error by the right fielder.
Drew Vest followed with an RBI on a fielder's choice to make it a 1-0 game as Lee was out at second and Danford scored. After Vest advanced to second on a wild pitch, Jonathan Gonzales continued his hot streak with an RBI single up the middle to plate Vest for a 2-0 lead.
The Islanders added another two runs in the fifth to make it a 4-0 lead. Lee started things off after getting hit by a pitch and moving to second on a groundout by Vest. Gonzales singled to the shortstop as Lee moved over to third, and Eric Weiss followed with an RBI groundout that scored Lee and moved Gonzales to second for a 3-0 lead.
Brad Porras brought Gonzales around to score on an RBI triple down the right field line to make it a 4-0 contest.
The Broncs got on the board in the top of the sixth inning with a run on two hits to cut the lead to 4-1.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi got the run back in the bottom half of the inning as Jeramie Marek singled to leadoff the sixth, but was caught stealing to clear the bases. Stafford Brantley singled up the middle to restart the rally, and Omar Garcia pinch hit and singled to left to moved Brantley to second base. Vest singled through the left side to score Brantley and make it a 5-1 lead.
UTPA added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh, while the Islanders responded with one in the bottom half to make it a 6-3 score. Weiss started the inning with a bunt single, stole second base, moved to third on an error and came home to score on a wild pitch.
The final runs of the game came in the top of the ninth, as Garcia got the first out of the inning before giving up a pair of runs before getting the final two outs for a 6-5 final.
Vest finished the night with a team-high two RBI while picking up one hit in the game. Gonzales, Lee and Marek each had two hits, while Weiss, Porras Brantley, Garcia and Weston Montgomery each had one apiece. Gonzales, Weiss and Porras each had one RBI on the night.
Next up for the Islanders will be a three-game Southland Conference series at Chapman Field against McNeese State. The series starts on Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch on campus.
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