CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M Corpus Christi baseball team (15-15) heads to Edinburg on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to complete its season series with UT-Pan American (11-19).
The Islanders enter the contest having taken the last three games of the series to give them a 4-2 season record against the Broncs. Most recently, A&M – Corpus Christi swept UTPA at Chapman Field in a midweek doubleheader with a comeback 8-7 win after trailing by five in game one, followed by a dominating 12-5 win in the second game.
The two squads are on different trajectories at this point of the season, as the Islanders come in as winners of eight of their last 10, including five straight victories, while the Broncs have scuffled as of late, dropping their last six to give them just one win in their last 11 games.
Looking to continue the win streak for the Islanders will be Dalton D'Spain (1-0, 2.65 ERA) who is coming off back-to-back solid performances in the first two starts of his career. In his last time out, the San Antonio native picked up his first career win while pitching in his hometown, giving up just one run on three hits over five innings of work against UTSA.
He will be matched up against righty Kyle Tokunaga (1-3, 7.71) who is coming off four innings pitched in the team's last midweek outing, as he gave up five earned runs off four hits against TCU. He struggled with his command, walking five batters in the game.
Prior to that the San Antonio native made his previous start against the Islanders, where he also had trouble finding the strike zone as he walked four in five innings. However, he limited the damage, giving up just two runs on three hits before his bullpen let him down in the 8-7 loss.
Tokunaga will face off against an A&M-Corpus Christi offense that did just enough against New Orleans last weekend to come away with the sweep. The Islanders won every game of the series by just one run, while scoring seven runs across the three games.
Among the players who have seen action in at least 20 of the Islanders' games, Brandon Tierney and Jordan Lee have the top batting averages, hitting .306 and .304, respectively. Tierney was the hero in the first game against the Privateers, as he recorded a two-out RBI double to break a scoreless tie in the top of the 10th, which eventually won the game for the Islanders.
Once he gets on, Lee has hurt his opponents with his speed, as he ranks 14th in the nation with his 14 stolen bases. The rest of the Islanders have also had their way on the base paths, as they have swiped a total of 48 bags this year, which ranks them first in the Southland and 12th in the nation.
Pacing the way at the plate for the Broncs has been Alex Howe, as he is the only starter to hit above .300 thus far in the season. The Unanderra, Australia, native has hit at a .350 clip and also leads the team in RBIs (21), slugging (.530), on-base percentage (.472), stolen bases (9) and doubles (10).
The only other UTPA player to knock in double-digit runs has been Alberto Morales, as the senior has 15 RBIs this season.
Following their midweek tilt, the Islanders will return to conference action this weekend against Stephen F. Austin at Chapman Field. Game one for the series is set for 6 p.m. Friday.
To keep up with the Islanders during the game, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and like it on Facebook (Islanders Baseball). Fans can also tune in for live audio on GoIslanders.com.