Islanders Clinch Second Seed in Southland Conference Tournament With Win

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball set a new best for the program on Friday night, winning 6-3 over Stephen F. Austin to clinch the second seed in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament.

The Islanders (32-21, 17-9 Southland) earned the series win with the victory over SFA (27-27, 14-12 Southland) in the middle game. Trevor Belicek (9-1) earned the victory, pitching 7.0 innings while allowing just two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out five. He allowed just one hit through the first six innings as he pitched another gem. Jacob Dorris came on in the ninth and slammed the door for his 13th save of the season, getting a pair of strikeouts while holding the Lumberjacks scoreless.

Zach Taylor and Cody Stephens did the bulk of the damage with back-to-back hits in the fifth inning that drove in the first four runs of the game. They finished with two RBI each, Taylor on one hit and Stephens on a pair of hits. Stafford Brantley also picked up a pair of hits on the night, while Eric Weiss, Jonathan Gonzales, Brad Porras, Jordan Lee, Brandon Tierney and Brad Lamberti finished with one hit apiece. Tierney and Brantley provided the other two RBI for the Islanders.

The scoring starting in the fifth as Tierney singled and moved to third on a single by Lamberti to put runners on the corners. Lamberti moved up to second on a wild pitch and Brantley walked to load the bases. Taylor followed with a two-RBI double down the left field line to make it 2-0. With Brantley and Taylor in scoring position, Stephens immediately followed with a two-RBI single to center to make it 4-0.

The score remained the same until the top of the sixth, with the Islanders getting a leadoff single by Porras and him moving to second on a single through the right side by Lee. After a pitching change for SFA, the Islanders recorded two straight outs before Brantley came through with an RBI single right side to make it 5-0.

Texas A&M – Corpus Christi would add one more in the seventh, plating the run after a pair of errors allowed Stephens and Weiss to reach to leadoff the inning. After a walk was issued to Lee that loaded the bases, Tierney drew a walk of his own to force in Stephens to make it a 6-0 game.

The Lumberjacks added a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh and one in the eighth, but they would get no more as Dorris shut them down in the final frame.

The series finale is set for a 1 p.m. start at Jaycees Field on Saturday afternoon. Live stats will be available through www.GoIslanders.com, while live video can be found at www.SFAJacks.com.

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