Offense Explodes to Knock Off UTPA, Win Sixth Straight
EDINBURG, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team (16-15) extended its win streak to six by using an eight-run sixth inning to knock off UTPA (11-20) by a score of 15-7 on Wednesday at Edinburg Baseball Stadium.
The win marked the fifth victory against the Broncs this season to win the season series 5-2, while also pushing their overall win percentage to above .500 for the first time this year.
Cody Stephens had a career night at the plate for A&M-Corpus Christi, as he picked up four knocks, the most as an Islander, going 4-for-5 at the dish with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Brandon Guilford got the first nod of his career, and made the most of it, as he had his first career hits with two, to go along with his first three RBIs.
Zack Gibson also had a solid day at the dish, as he picked up three hits for the second time this season, while touching home plate three times on the night.
On the mound, it was Tyler Schnuriger who picked up the win, as he threw three scoreless innings for his second consecutive outing. AJ Flores and Nolan Holland also did not allow a run in the next two innings following Schnuriger to help the Islanders secure the victory.
The game also marked the longest game of the season for A&M – Corpus Christi, as it was just six minutes shy of a four-hour match up. The game featured 14 pitchers, as well as 26 different position players.
Gibson gave the Islanders the first lead of the game, as he drilled a full count pitch to the wall in left to drive Frankie Salas to put his team up 1-0 in the top of the second.
However, the Broncs came right back in the bottom half of the inning, as UTPA was able to pick up a two-out knock of its own with Victor Garcia Jr., driving in two runs to go up 2-1 heading into the third.
After Guilford led the inning off with a walk, he eventually moved up to third on an error and then came in to score on a wild pitch to tie the game up. It was then that Jordan Lee picked up his 15th, and quite possibly most impressive stolen base of the season, as Kyle Tokunaga was not paying attention to him and the speedy Lee took off and stole home without even a tag attempt with Tokunaga trying to hurry to the plate, eventually throwing it away.
The game continued to go back and forth though, as the Broncs came back to score three runs on four hits, chasing starter Dalton D'Spain to go up 5-3 after the first third of the game.
The scoring slowed, as neither team scored over the next two innings. However, that changed quickly, as the Islanders had their biggest offensive explosion of the year, scoring eight runs in the top of the fifth.
After two runs had already come across via a ground out by Guilford as well as Russell Vaughan scoring on a balk, Stephens continued the damage even with two outs, as he helped break things open for the Islanders by drilling a pitch over the head of the left fielder with the bases loaded to bring in all three to score. The Islanders were then able to score three more runs afterward to make it an 11-5 ballgame.
It was then that Schnuriger, Flores and Holland brought the Broncs' offense to a halt, while the Islanders scored three more runs in the eighth on two wild pitches and a sacrifice fly to go up by nine and eventually go on to win 15-7.
The Islanders will now return to Southland Conference play this upcoming weekend, as they will host Stephen F. Austin. Game one of the series is set for 6 p.m. on Friday at Chapman Field.
To keep up with the Islanders, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and like it on Facebook (Islanders Baseball).