March 5, 2014

Houston's Pitching Stymies Islanders

HOUSTON, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team became the fifth shutout victim of the season for Houston, as the Cougars won 10-0 in eight innings on Wednesday at Cougar Ballpark.

Five pitchers combined for Houston (9-2) to hold the Islanders (5-9) scoreless, only giving up six hits as well. Four of the hits came from Zack Gibson and Jordan Lee, as they each recorded two base hits. The knocks for Gibson extended his hit streak to six consecutive games.

Frankie Ratcliff had an outstanding night at the dish for the Cougars, as he set a new school record with six hits in six plate appearances. He also knocked in a team-high three RBIs and scored three runs as well.

Kevin Landgrebe performed well in his first start, giving up two runs over four innings, but eventually picked up his first loss of the year. For the Cougars, Matt Locus earned his first win of the season, as the lefty came on and threw 1.2 innings of relief with just one hit allowed.

The Islanders fell to 1-7 when allowing their opponent to score in the first inning, as back-to-back two-out singles in the bottom of the first allowed the Cougars to take a 1-0 lead.

Landgrebe settled in over the next two innings, sitting the Cougars down in order in the second before working around back-to-back singles in the third to keep his team within one a third of the way through.

The Islanders appeared to be poised to tie the game up, as Gibson got on with a leadoff single and eventually moved up to second on a stolen base. However, after starting pitcher David Longville departed after setting Kyle Danford down on strikes, Locus came on to get a flyout and groundout to end the threat.

It was a tough way for A&M – Corpus Christi to give up their second run, as a wild pitch with runners on second and third on an 0-2 count with two outs doubled the Cougars lead in the bottom of the fourth.

It was a great start to the fifth for the Islanders, as Russell Vaughan was down 0-2 in the count, but looped a single in front of the right fielder for a leadoff single. However, a failed bunt, followed by two more outs erased any threat for the visitors.

Houston came right back to score two more in the bottom half of the inning, extending its lead to 4-0. The Cougars then had their biggest inning of the night, scoring three off the power of the team's first triple of the year, which scored a run.

With the Houston pitching continuing to shut the Islanders down, the Cougars plated runs for the fourth and fifth consecutive innings, cumulating on a bases-loaded knock by Ratcliff – his sixth of the night – to score the 10th run of the night for a walkoff run rule victory for the Cougars.

The Islanders will play at Chapman Field for the first time this season starting on Friday at 6 p.m., as they host Valparaiso for a three-game nonconference weekend series.  

To keep up with the Islanders this weekend be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and like us on Facebook (Islanders Baseball). See above for links to live video, stats and audio for the series against UTA.