VICTORIA, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team picked up a tough 8-6 win over Houston – Victoria on Thursday night, taking an early lead and never trailing against the Jaguars. The team will start a three-game Southland Conference series on Friday against Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas.
Eric Weiss and Jonathan Gonzales had back-to-back home runs as the Islanders (12-9) got three runs in the second and third, but a single run in the second and four in the fourth for UHV (9-17) kept it close throughout the game. A.J. Longoria (1-0) got the first win of his Islanders career, coming on in relief to pitch 2.0 perfect innings, giving up no runs, hits or walks against the six batters he faced. Jacob Dorris got his fourth save of the year to close out the game.
Cody Stephens went 3-for-4 in the game with one RBI, while Weiss, Gonzales and Brandon Tierney had two hits each. Brad Porras, Zach Taylor and Russell Vaughan finished the night with one hit apiece. Weiss and Tierney had two RBI on the night, while Stephens, Gonzales, Taylor and Vaughan drove in one run each.
The Islanders started the scoring with three runs in the top of the second, as Gonzales doubled down the left field line, Porras walked and both runners advanced a base on a passed ball. Taylor singled through the left side to score Gonzales and advance Porras, and Vaughan came through with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0, while Taylor advanced all the way to third on an error by the first baseman. Tierney came through with an RBI single to left that scored Taylor and made it 3-0.
UHV scored one in the bottom half of the inning to cut into the lead, but the Islanders came back with three more in the top of the third.
Stephens singled to the shortstop and Weiss followed with a blast to left center field over the 384 sign on the wall to make it a 5-1 game. Gonzales followed on the next pitch with a line drive homer down the left field line, clearing the wall by just a few feet on a ball that had plenty of distance once it got past the top of the barrier to make it 6-1.
The Jaguars came back with four runs in the bottom of the third, cutting the lead to just one as they staged a tremendous two-out rally, getting five hits and a walk after the first two batters went down in order, to make it a 6-5 contest.
Jacob Hubert would come on to pinch run and score a run in the top of the fourth, courtesy running after a Vaughan single, moving to second and third on groundouts, and scoring on a bunt single by Stephens to make it 7-5.
The team added another run scored in the sixth, with Hubert coming on to run for Vaughan and coming in to score on a Tierney RBI single through the left side for an 8-5 lead.
UHV added a single run in the bottom half of the inning, but they would get no more as the Islanders relievers shut them down.
After Longoria, Kaleb Keith came on and gave up the one run in 2.0 innings, allowing just two hits and one strikeout. Dalton D'Spain followed with an inning, giving up just one hit in the eighth, and Dorris came on in the ninth to close it out, striking out all three batters he faced to end it and earn the save.
The Islanders face Sam Houston in a three-game series starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. The teams will play at 2 p.m. on Saturday and close out the series with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. Trevor Foss will start Friday for the Islanders, Trevor Belicek will go on Saturday and Adam Hoelscher will close it out with the start on Sunday.
Live stats and audio will be available for all games through www.GoIslanders.com.
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