CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team needed a spark to get going after a loss on opening night at Chapman Field, what they got was the best baseball performance of Trevor Foss' life as the senior tossed a complete game shutout, the first of his career, while giving up just three hits, one walk and striking out 15 Texas – Pan American batters in a 6-0 win.
His 15 strikeouts were just two short of the school record, set by Mike Garcia, who set down 17 on strikes against Texas Southern in 2004. The Islanders followed that up with a strong performance by Tim Keller in the second game to take a 4-1 victory.
The Islanders (2-1) finished the day with a pair of wins as two strong pitching performances paced the team. The Broncs (1-2) were unable to solve Foss and had just seven hits combined in the doubleheader.
In addition to Foss in game one, Keller tossed 5.0 in game number two, giving up just two hits and one run with three walks and four punch-outs. After Keller was lifted following an extended sun delay, Franco Pace came in and got three big innings of one-hit, no run baseball with one walk and three strikeouts. Jacob Dorris came on to finish the game with one strikeout over the final inning to pickup his first save of the year.
Brad Porras had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three runs and a double in the first game while finishing with one hit in game two.
Just as the Broncs delivered a quick start in game one of the series, the Islanders returned the favor in game two. Jordan Lee led off the bottom of the first with a double along the right-field line, and he quickly moved up 90 feet on a single by Cody Stephens to right. Stephens then stole second, and the throw from catcher Jacob Huckabay bounced wide to score Lee for a 1-0 Islanders lead. Stephens then came home on a Jonathan Gonzales groundout to make it 2-0 after 1.
The Islanders tacked on another run in the bottom of the third with a two-out rally. Brad Porras started things with a single to right, and he moved into scoring position by swiping second base. Eric Weiss then brought him home with a single up the middle that pushed the home squad's lead to 3-0.
In the fifth, A&M – Corpus Christi added two more runs on four hits. Gonzales started the rally when he singled through the middle of the infield, and he headed to third when Porras doubled down the right-field line to put a pair of runners in scoring position. A wild pitch sent each runner 90 feet forward, with Gonzales' run making it 4-0. Two batters later, Dominic Lopez singled to center and the lead was 5-0.
Meanwhile, Foss was rolling on the mound for the Islanders. The senior posted 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, fifth and sixth, and the only two hits he surrendered in his first seven innings came in the third. He matched his career high with his 11th strikeout in the top of the seventh, and continued to cruise all the way to the final out for his first career shutout.
In game two, the Islanders struck first once again. Stephens led off the game with a single and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder. He followed with a steal of third and trotted home when Lee delivered a sac fly to center to make it 1-0 in favor of the home squad.
UTPA knotted the score at 1-1 in the top of the third with a run on two hits. Shane Klemcke singled through the left side and moved to third on a double from Alex Howe. After Dillon Englehart reached on an error that scored Klemcke to make it 1-1, Keller worked out of the inning by inducing a 1-6-3 double play to limit the damage.
The home team quickly responded, as Lee doubled with two outs and came home to score when Gonzales reached on an error that went through the legs of the third baseman and into the outfield.
A pair of insurance runs were added in the fifth, as Dominic Lopez reached on a walk and moved to second on a bunt single from Zach Taylor. Stephens sacrificed the runners over on a bunt before a pair of wild pitches brought home both runners to make it 4-1.
Following an extended sun delay that forced Keller out of the game, Pace came in and got three innings of shutout baseball, picking up three strikeouts while allowing just one hit.
Dorris came on in the ninth and got into a little trouble before shutting down the Broncs for the save.
The two teams will complete the four-game series on Sunday afternoon, with a start time of 1 PM out at Chapman Field. Live stats and video for the game will be available through www.GoIslanders.com.
For all the latest on Islanders Baseball, fans can like the team on Facebook (Islanders Baseball) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.