HOUSTON – No. 15 Rice scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to emerge victorious, 12-10, in a back-and-forth affair against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team on Wednesday at Reckling Park. Brandon Tierney went 4-for-6 at the plate in a losing effort for the Islanders (6-12).
Jordan Lee went 3-for-6 with three RBI as well for A&M-Corpus Christi, while Jacob Hubert posted a 2-for-3 day. Skyler Ewing led the Rice offense with a 4-for-4 day at the plate, while Charlie Warren went 4-for-5 with a trio of RBI. The Owls delivered 22 hits in the contest.
The Islanders struck first with a run in the top of the second, as the team executed a double steal with Hubert coming in to make it 1-0. But Rice came right back with four in the bottom of the inning to take command of a 4-1 advantage, chasing starter Kevin Landgrebe from the game. Shane Hoelscher delivered the big hit of the frame, smashing a two-run double.
A&M-Corpus Christi got a run back in the top of the third. Lee reached on an error to start the frame, then proceeded to third on a stolen base and a sac fly. He trotted home as Tyler Ware ripped a single through the right side, making it 4-2.
Then, after Jacob Dorris tallied a scoreless inning in the bottom of the third, the Islanders rallied to put a four-spot in the board in the fourth. The first two batters walked, and Josh Garza followed with a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. Tierney delivered the first run on an RBI single, and then Russell Vaughan came home on a wild pitch to tie the score at 4. Lee followed with a single of his own, plating Garza to get the lead back, 5-4, and Tierney later came home on a wild pitch to give the Islanders a two-run lead.
The advantage was short-lived, though, as Rice got two runs back off Dorris on a sac fly and a wild pitch to make the score 6-6. The Owls went on to score solo runs in the fifth sixth and seventh to jump out to a 9-6 lead after seven complete innings.
Coming in to pinch hit for Josh Garza, Dawson Yates singled to get things started for the Islanders in the eighth. Tierney followed that up with his fourth knock of the game, before Lee came through with a huge bases-clearing RBI triple to pull the Islanders within one with no outs and Lee representing the tying run just 90 feet away.
The Owls went to the bullpen to bring in Jon Duplantier, who received a rude welcome to the game, as Kyle Danford drove Lee in with a double to tie the game at nine. Ware moved Danford over to third on a sacrifice bunt before the Islanders plated their third run of the game via a wild pitch. As this time, an erratic throw brought Danford in to give the Islanders their first lead since the fourth inning.
However, the Islanders were unable to hold on to the lead, as a single and an error moved the leadoff man, Ewing, into scoring position. A triple by Michael Aquino brought Ewing in to score and tie the game.
A single then brought Aquino in before the Owls tacked on one more run before setting the Islanders down in order in the top of the ninth to secure the midweek victory.
The Islanders will now set their sights on the start of Southland Conference play, as they will host Central Arkansas for a three-game weekend series. First pitch for game one is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Chapman Field.
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