ABILENE, Texas – Jordan Lee tallied a career high four RBIs to help Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team knock off Abilene Christian in its first meeting with the Wildcats, taking a 8-6 victory in an 11 inning affair in the series opener Friday.
The win moves the Islanders (26-21, 15-7 Southland) into a tie with Nicholls atop the Southland leaderboard, while also improving the team's record to 4-0 in extra inning contests, with all four coming on the road.
Lee not only set a new career best for runs driven in, he made them count. His second RBI came on a single in the ninth with two outs to tie the game up and force extras, while his double in the 11th brought in his final two RBIs to secure the win for the Islanders.
Josh Garza also set a career high in RBIs, as he accounted for three of the other four, with a sacrifice fly and a two-run double. Kyle Danford, who went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, accounted for the other run driven in, doing so on a sacrifice fly as well.
Jacob Dorris picked up his second win of the season, as he went the final 3 1/3 innings without giving up a run on two hits, as he continued his dominance against Southland foes. The junior has now thrown 12 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing a run in league play, while giving up just five hits during that stretch.
Seth Spivey and Tyler Eager accounted for eight of ACU's (16-26, 5-11) 13 hits, with five of them coming off the bat of Eager. However, neither tallied an RBI, with Brandon Grudzielanek picking up the only multi-RBI game for the Wildcats with two.
ACU got on the board first, as they scored one run in the bottom of the second without picking up a hit, with the Islanders committing two costly errors in the frame.
However, the Wildcats' lead didn't last long, as A&M – Corpus Christi came back to plate two runs of its own in the top of the third. Russell Vaughan led things off by getting single, before Danford moved himself up to second and Vaughan up to third due to an errant throw after Danford laid down a sacrifice bunt. Consecutive sacrifice flies then resulted in the Islanders taking a 2-1 lead.
The back and forth action continued though, as Spivey led off the bottom of the third with a single and eventually came around to score on a groundout to tie the game up at two apiece.
A&M – Corpus Christi responded once again, as it loaded the bases with a two walks and an ACU error with one away in the top of the fourth. This paved the way for another sacrifice fly, this time by Danford, before Garza picked up his two RBI double to extend the Islanders' lead to three.
However, the Wildcats were able to get to starter Matt Danton one more time before his departure, as they strung together three consecutive hits in the fifth to score two runs and pull within one, 5-4.
The offense finally slowed over the next two innings, as neither team was able to score in the sixth or the seventh. A leadoff double for ACU in the bottom of the eighth set the table for the Wildcats to jump out on top though.
This was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to tie the game before back-to-back singles, with two errors occurring on the second knock, put the Wildcats back on top for the first time since the second inning.
In the top of the ninth, Danford led off the inning with a double to start the rally, which was followed by a walk by pinch hitter Dominic Lopez on a nine-pitch at bat to put runners on first and second with no outs.
A double play looked as if it might allow ACU to work out of the jam, as it pulled the Wildcats within just one out of winning the game, but that was when Lee came through with his first heroics, as he singled up the middle on an 0-2 count to tie the game up.
With the score remaining tied at six in the top of the 11th, Lee provided his second dose of heroics, as he came through with a double to left field with the bases loaded to bring in the eventual winning runs.
Dorris came out in the bottom half of the inning, recording the first two outs before a pair of singles and a hit by pitch gave the Wildcats an opportunity to tie the game on a hit. However, the sidewinder struck out Grudzielanek to end the game and secure the win for the Islanders.
Game two will feature a pair of southpaw's, as Trevor Belicek (3-5, 4.12) will faceoff at 2 p.m. against Brady Rodriguez (1-3, 5.56), who will be making his fourth start. Belicek has been solid over his last three starts, picking up three wins, while giving up six runs over his last 20 1/3 innings of work.
Live audio will be available on GoIslanders.com, with live stats and video on ACUsports.com.
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