CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the country on Saturday night, falling 4-2 against No. 14 Oklahoma in the Kleberg Bank College Classic at Whataburger Field.
The Islanders (3-4) fell behind early, giving up two runs in the top of the first inning for the second game in a row as the Sooners took advantage of some early game wildness from starter Trevor Foss (1-1), who had two wild pitches and a hit batter in the inning.
Foss went 7.0 innings, allowing just three runs, two of them earned, on three hits and one walk while striking out six batters. Jonathan Gray (2-0) earned the win for Oklahoma, matching Foss' 7.0 innings while giving up one run on four hits and four walks while striking out six as well.
After a strikeout swinging by the leadoff hitter, Jack Mayfield was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a walk put runners on first and second, a double steal put both runners in scoring position. Matt Oberste followed with a two-RBI single up the middle to make it a 2-0 game. Foss worked his way out of another jam in the inning to keep the score close.
The Islanders threatened in the bottom of the third, but stranded runners on second and third as Oklahoma kept it a 2-0 score. Zach Taylor started the action with a double down the left field line and was followed by a Russell Vaughan walk. A groundout by Jordan Lee moved both runners into scoring position, but a strikeout ended the threat for the home team.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi threatened several times before finally breaking through in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor led off the inning with a bunt single to third base, and was moved over to second on a Vaughan sacrifice bunt. A groundout by Lee moved Taylor over to third, and a single to center by Cody Stephens plated the shortstop to make it a 2-1 game.
Oklahoma responded with a single run in the top of the seventh, but the Islanders got it back in the eighth to cut it to a single run lead once again. Stephens singled up the middle and was followed by a Jonathan Gonzales base knock that moved the runner to third. After Kyle Danford came on to pinch run for Gonzales, a base running error cost the team the lead runner as Danford was caught in a rundown and then a throw over to third got Stephens off the bag for the first out of the inning.
Brad Porras responded with a bloop single down the right field line as Danford went first to third and once again put runners on the corners. A wild pitch by reliever Ethan Carnes plated Danford and moved Porras to second, while another wild pitch moved Porras all the way to third. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi still held a chance to tie the game, but a groundout ended the threat at 3-2.
Oklahoma tacked on an insurance run in the top on the ninth, and the Islanders were unable to respond as the game finished with a 4-2 win for the Sooners.
The Islanders will face Iowa in the final game of the Kleberg Bank College Classic on Sunday afternoon at Whataburger Field. While the game was originally schedule for 1 p.m., it will now start just 40 minutes after the conclusion of the opening game between New Mexico and Oklahoma. That game is slated for a 9:30 a.m. first pitch. In addition, no new inning can start after 3:50 p.m. in the Iowa-Texas A&M – Corpus Christi game due to travel considerations for the Hawkeyes.
Live stats and video will be available for both games by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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