HOUSTON – Houston Baptist rallied for six runs in the bottom of the ninth to knock off the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team by a score of 9-8 on Saturday at Husky Field, evening the series up at one.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, it was one of HBU's (16-15, 6-8 Southland) best hitters coming up with his second knock of the game, as he dropped one right in front of Jordan Lee, clearing the bases to tie the game up at eight.
After moving up from second to third on a ground out, Jones then came in to score the winning run on a passed ball.
Jordan McCoy also had a big day for the Huskies, as he went 3-for-4 with an RBI, with his final hit sparking the rally to lead things off in the final inning of play. Clay Thomas had a solid day in the nine-hole, as he drove in two RBIs, with both coming on a single to left in the ninth that pulled HBU within three at that point.
For the Islanders (18-19, 8-6) Lee and Brandon Tierney both picked up three-hit days. The game marked the second consecutive game Lee had three hits, and was the seventh time he had done so this season. He also had an RBI, while Tierney knocked in a pair of RBIs.
It was a strong offensive day up and down the Islanders lineup, as eight of the nine starters tallied at least one hit.
Trevor Belicek picked up a tough no decision for A&M – Corpus Christi, as he went seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, while striking out five.
Both Belicek and his counterpart Ryan Lower got off to good starts, as the game was scoreless after two. However, the Islanders got on the board first, as Lee drove in Zack Gibson after he got aboard with a leadoff double.
Frankie Salas was able to notch his first RBI later that inning, belting a single to left field to bring Tierney around to score, making it a 2-0 Islander advantage.
Both pitchers then locked in over the next three innings, as they Islanders still held on to their two run lead going into the seventh.
A&M – Corpus Christi looked to distance themselves from the Huskies in the seventh though, as they picked up four consecutive singles to start the inning to make it a 3-0 ballgame. Salas then plated his second RBI, as he coaxed a bases loaded walk to bring in another run and extend the lead to four.
This was when Lower was replaced on the mound by Brandon Hammerly, who came on and got a big double play on the first batter he faced. However, that did allow another run to score, and Tyler Ware then came through with a single into center to bring Tierney in to score to make it a 6-0 game heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Huskies began their comeback in the bottom half of the inning though, as Samm Wiggins finally put HBU on the scoreboard with a single to left to bring Jones in to score. Jordan McCoy then came right back with a single of his own to score another run, before a sacrifice fly brought Wiggins in to score to cut the Islanders lead in half, 6-3.
The Islanders came right back though to score two more in the top of the eighth, with both Tierney and Jacob Hubert picking up RBI singles to push the lead back out to five. However, this would be all they would score before HBU's heroics in the bottom of the ninth sealed a tough defeat for A&M – Corpus Christi.
The two teams will faceoff in what will now be a rubber match Sunday, with Devin Skapura matching up against Curtis Jones. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Husky Field.
Live audio will be available on GoIslanders.com, with live stats and video on HBUHuskies.com. To keep up with the action, fans can also follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and like it on Facebook (Islanders Baseball).