CORPUS CHRISTI – Trevor Foss gave up a couple of early runs in the first and third, but he roared back with a string of 11 outs in a row as the Islanders starter pitched his team to a big 6-5 win over Oral Roberts to even the Southland Conference series.
The third and final game of the series is set for a 12 p.m. start on Saturday, with Trevor Belicek getting the ball for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi against Kurt Giller of ORU.
Foss (4-3) earned the win and Jacob Dorris picked up his sixth save for the Islanders (15-12, 2-3 Southland) to even the series against the Golden Eagles (9-17, 4-1 Southland) through two games. Foss went 8.0 innings, giving up two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out 11 batters on the night for his second double-digit strikeout game of the year. Franco Pace, Seth Horton and Jacob Dorris combined to finish out the final inning.
Russell Vaughan picked up his first home run of the season and had two RBI in the game. Zach Taylor matched his RBI output at two while also picking up two hits in the game. Cody Stephens, Jordan Lee Eric Weiss and Brad Porras also had two hits apiece, while Jonathan Gonzales and Brandon Tierney each added one RBI on the night. Tierney and Stafford Brantley rounded out the offense with one hit, totaling 13 in the game for the Islanders.
Oral Roberts scored in the first inning, plating a single run in the top of the first as they used a leadoff triple and an RBI groundout for the 1-0 lead.
The Islanders answered in the bottom of the second, with Brantley tripling to right center with two outs, and then coming home on an RBI double down the left field line by Taylor to make it a 1-1 game.
The Golden Eagles added another run in the top of the third, getting the run on two hits to regain a one-run advantage at 2-1.
The score remained that way into the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Islanders taking their first lead of the series with a three-run rally. Porras started it off with a single to right and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tierney. After a strikeout made it two outs in the inning, the offense went to work.
Taylor singled to right center for his second RBI of the game, scoring Porras from second to tie it at 2-2. Vaughan followed with his first home run of the year, putting one over the right field wall to give the Islanders a 4-2 advantage and their first lead of the game.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, extending the advantage to 6-2 with the runs.
Lee started the inning off with a single and moved to third on a single through the left side by Weiss. After a pitching change for Oral Roberts, Gonzales hit an RBI groundout to score Lee and make it 5-2. Weiss moved to second on the play and moved to third on an infield single by Porras. Tierney brought Weiss home with a single on a push bunt past the pitcher to make it 6-2.
It would be all the Islanders would need, as Foss set down 11 batters in a row at one points, including seven by strikeouts, to stifle the Golden Eagles offense. He came out of the game after the eighth inning, with Pace coming on in relief. The push bunt by Tierney would prove to be an important play, as it turned into the game-winning RBI.
ORU score three times in the ninth inning, capped off by a pinch-hit, two-run home run by Garrett Greenwell, but Dorris slammed the door with a pop out to end the game, with the Islanders winning a 6-5 final to knot the series at one game apiece.
The rubber match between the two teams is set for a 12 p.m. first pitch at Chapman Field on Sunday. There will also be an Easter Egg hunt for kids in attendance following the conclusion of the contest.
Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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