Offense Powers Baseball Past UTPA for Doubleheader Sweep
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team swept its doubleheader against Texas-Pan American on Tuesday at Chapman Field with a comeback 8-7 win in game one followed by an offensive explosion for a 12-5 victory in the second contest.
After not hitting any homeruns so far this year, the Islanders (10-13) hit four between the two games to help propel them to victory.
Tyler Ware had one of those, as he belted his in game two after providing the heroics with the walkoff in game one, going 3-for-6 in the two games with three RBIs.
Another junior transfer had a huge day at the plate, as Frankie Salas picked up a home run of his own, as well as three hits in each game to go along with a total of four RBIs on the day.
Tyler Schnuriger had one of the strongest days on the mound, as he helped the Islanders complete a five-run comeback in game one by setting down all nine Broncs he faced to pick up his first win of the season.
After game one starter Gavin Williamson got a strikeout to strand runners on second and third in the top of the first, his teammates put him ahead 1-0 on a groundout by Kyle Danford to bring Jordan Lee in for the first run of the game.
However, Williamson struggled in his second inning of work, as he allowed three runs while recording just one out, as a two-RBI double by Alex Howe drew the end of line for Williamson.
AJ Flores came on in relief and allowed both runs he inherited to come around to score before getting out of the inning, giving the Broncs a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the second.
UTPA then scored single runs in the third and the fourth, while its starter Kyle Tokunaga settled in to give up just two more hits and one run via a wild pitch, giving his team a 7-2 lead through the first five.
With his departure in the sixth, the Islanders started to chip away on the lead off the Broncs' bullpen. It started with a single run in the sixth, as Salas blasted one to right field to give A&M – Corpus Christi its first home run of the year and cut the lead down to four.
After not hitting a round tripper in their first 21 games, it did not take long for the Islanders to get their second, as five-foot six-inch Lee sent one up in the jet stream for his fourth career home run to make it a 7-4 ball game heading into the eighth.
With the bullpen continuing to put up zeros, the Islanders were able to draw within one in the eighth, as Ware came on as a pitch hitter to pick up a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded before a Brandon Tierney bases loaded walk made it 7-6.
Schnuriger capped off his impressive day out of the bullpen in the ninth, as he posted his third consecutive 1-2-3 inning to face the minimum on the day with five strikeouts to give his team a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
A Danford double to right field, followed by a sac bunt to move him over to third put the Islanders in prime position to tie it up, and that is exactly what they did with Salas chopping a ball through the right side to knot the game at seven.
With the comeback complete, the Islanders found themselves in position to come away with the win, as an intentional walk sent Ware to the plate with a chance to win it.
He was able to provide the walk-off win, as he singled to center to bring Cody Stephens across to pick up a 8-7 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
A&M – Corpus Christi continued its offensive momentum over into game two, as it scored six runs in the first three innings combined to run its streak to seven consecutive innings with runs scored, plating 12 runs over that span.
Dalton D'Spain was the one taking advantage of the early 6-0 lead for the Islanders, as he was out on the mound for his first start of the season. He posted three consecutive scoreless innings before he got into a little trouble in the fourth, as he allowed back-to-back leadoff walks to eventually come around to score to make it 6-2. D'Spain got out of the inning with a strikeout to end a solid day of work with eight total punchouts on the day.
After his departure, the Islanders offense kept on rolling, by plating two runs in the fifth before two home runs — a solo shot by Ware and a three-run dinger by Dominic Lopez — gave A&M – Corpus Christi a chance to end it in the seventh, as it was up 12-2.
However, the Islanders were unable to close the game out, as UTPA scored a solo run in the seventh via a sac fly with the bases loaded. The Broncs plated two more runs in the top of the ninth, but the deficit was far too large for them to overcome with the Islanders eventually securing the 12-5 win.
A&M – Corpus Christi will be back in action this weekend, hosting a three-game Southland Conference series against Southeastern Louisiana. Action will start on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Chapman field, followed by a 7:30 game on Saturday as well before wrapping up on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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