CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team will play its first games in the Coastal Bend on Thursday with a doubleheader against BYU beginning at 3 p.m. at Whataburger Field as part of the Kleberg Bank College Classic.
Also during the tournament, the Islanders will square off with UTSA at 6 p.m. Friday before taking on No. 19 TCU on Saturday at 6 p.m.
In its ninth year, the Kleberg Bank College Classic annually brings top teams from around the nation to the Coastal Bend. Of the 104 All-Tournament selections at the event, 65 have gone on to play professional baseball with six moving on to the major leagues.
Against the Cougars, A&M – Corpus Christi will send a duo of pitchers out to make their second starts of the season. Righties Gavin Williamson and Matt Danton will both look to bounce back after losses last week to UTPA.
Danton had a solid outing in the team's season opener, tossing a shutout heading into the seventh, but gave up a two-run homerun with the Islanders holding on to a one-run lead. These were the only runs he gave up on four hits and seven strikeouts.
The Broncs strung together seven hits against Williamson in his first start as an Islander, but gave up just two earned runs in 3.1 innings of work.
Matching up in game one with Williamson will be Desmond Poulson, who recorded a no decision in his first outing, giving up two earned runs in five innings of work against Kansas.
The only lefty starter of the doubleheader will be Hayden Rogers, as he picked up a similar line to Poulson with two earned runs and a no decision against the Jayhawks.
The Islanders have three starters batting at least at a .400 clip, while the team is hitting .363. Tyler Ware leads the pack with a .538 average, going 7-of-13 from the dish so far this season. Kyle Danford (.444) and Cody Stephens (.400) have also reached base at a high frequency.
Eric Urry and Kelton Caldwell lead the Cougars at the dish, as Urry has the highest batting average on the team at .385, while Caldwell paces the team with four RBIs.
This will mark the first time in school history that the Islanders have matched up with BYU.
Devin Skapura (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will look to carry over the momentum he built in a shutout win in his first career start last outing, matching up with UTSA's lefty Nolan Trabanino (1-0, 1.80 ERA) who also won his first start of the season.
After throwing against Texas on Tuesday, the Islanders will give southpaw Trevor Belicek (0-1, 2.25 ERA) his second start of the season against another formidable opponent, as he will take on TCU, dueling against Preston Morrison (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Morrison threw a gem in his first outing, tossing eight innings of shutout baseball, allowing just four hits and no runs.
Tickets for the Classic can be bought in person at Whataburger Field, as well as through cchooks.com or by calling 361-561-HOOK (4665). Daily tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for children 4-12. Packages that include access to all seven games over the four days of action are $24 and $12.
The complete 2014 Kleberg Bank College Classic schedule:
Thursday, February 20
BYU vs. Islanders (DH), 3 p.m.
Friday, February 21
TCU vs. BYU, 2 p.m.
UTSA vs. Islanders, 6 p.m.
Saturday, February 22
BYU vs. UTSA, 2 p.m.
TCU vs. Islanders, 6 p.m.
Sunday, February 23
UTSA vs. TCU, noon
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