CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball program completed the annual fall world series on Saturday, with the Blue Team rallying for a 5-3 final and a clean sweep of the three-game event.
The Blue Team (3-0) got a strong start from Tim Keller on the mound, with the senior going 6.0 innings while allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout. Trevor Belicek got the start for the Green Team and was tagged with the loss, going 6.0 innings as well, while giving up five runs on eight hits with two walks and five punchouts.
Josh Cruz led the way offensively for the Blue Team, picking up three hits and an RBI in the game. Brandon Guilford, Russell Vaughan, Dalton D'Spain, David Tittle and Stafford Brantley got one hit apiece, with Guilford, O'Shea Dumes, Jacob Hubert and Jonathan Gonzales each notching an RBI.
For the Green Team, Cody Stephens and Jared Simbles both went 2-for-4, while Simbles added an RBI. Jordan Lee, Eric Weiss, Chris Cano, Zacarias Hardy and Nick Lerick contributed one hit each, while Lee and Weiss also had RBI in the game.
Blue once again got out to a fast start, picking up a run in the top of the first for the early lead. Cruz started the scoring effort off with a double to right, moved to third on a Vaughan single and came home to score on a Dumes sacrifice fly for the 1-0 lead.
Green responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first for the first lead of the series. Stephens doubled to open the rally, and was followed by an RBI triple from Lee to tie the game at 1-1. Weiss followed with an RBI groundout to second base that scored Lee for the 2-1 lead.
The core remained unchanged until the top of the fourth when the Blue Team broke the game open with four runs on five hits to make it a 5-2 lead. D'Spain started the inning off with a single down the right field line and advanced to second on a Tittle single. A Brantley bunt single loaded the bases for Hubert, who hit a sacrifice fly to right to even the game at 2-2 as D'Spain scored and Tittle moved to third. After Brantley stole second base, he moved to third and Tittle scored on a Gonzales followed sacrifice fly to make it a 3-2 lead for the Blue Team. Guilford started another rally with a single to right to that scored Brantley, and came around to score on a Cruz double to left to make it a 5-2 score.
The Green Team got a run back in the bottom half of the inning when Cano started the inning with a bunt single and advanced around to third base on a throwing error by Keller during a pickoff attempt. Zacarias Hardy walked to put runners on the corners, but was thrown out trying to steal second base for the second out. Looking as if the scoring opportunity would go by the wayside, Simbles came up with an RBI single up the middle to score Cano and make it 5-3.
The Green Team threatened multiple times, but the Blue Team pitching staff that consisted of Keller, Nolan Holland, Tim Beard and Matt Danton held them scoreless after the fourth inning. Danton picked up the save in the ninth without allowing a run despite giving up three hits.
With the series complete, the fall practice schedule is also complete for the Islanders Baseball team. Spring practice for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will start on Jan. 25, with the opening day of the season falling on Feb. 15 against Texas – Pan American at Chapman Field.
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