HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi baseball team dropped its regular season finale Saturday at Don Sanders Stadium, as Sam Houston State was able to complete the sweep with a 9-1 victory.
The win for the Bearkats (40-15, 22-8 SLC) clinched their third consecutive Southland Conference title, while the loss dropped the Islanders (30-25, 19-11) to a tie for third with Northwestern State. Owning the tiebreaker over the Demons, the Islanders will be the three seed and will will now play in the Southland Conference Tournament against host Central Arkansas on Wednesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.
It was another tough offensive day for A&M – Corpus Christi, as the lone run of the game for the Islanders came off a solo shot by Kyle Danford in the second inning, which put the visitors up by one at that point. Russell Vaughan was the only Islander in the last two games to notch a multi-hit game, as he went 2-for-3 at the dish, while Cody Stephens saw his 13-game hit streak come to an end and Tyler Ware had a 23-game streak of reaching base safely fall as well.
Five different Bearkats tallied RBIs on the day, with Colt Atwood tallying three of them at the top of the order, going 3-for-5 at the dish.
Sam Odom picked up the win for SHSU, as he went seven innings, allowing only the home run with four other hits spread out. Devin Skapura picked up the tough loss despite throwing well, as he went 5 2/3 innings with six runs given up, but only one of those earned.
After the dinger by Danford in the second, the Bearkats came back to tie the game up at one in the third. Following eight consecutive SHSU batters set down by Skapura, an error put Travis Lee up at second, before Atwood picked up his first RBI of the game on a single to score Lee.
Both pitchers were able to strand two runners on in the fourth, but SHSU came back with another big two-out knock in the fifth to jump out on top. Lee came in to score once again, as Hayden Simerly single to right field, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double keeping the lead at 2-1 for the Bearkats.
The following inning was when SHSU put the lead out of reach though, as they scored five runs in the sixth after plating nine in the same inning the night before. An error put the first run on in the inning with one down, but Skapura came back to get the second out on fly out.
It was then that Skapura appeared to get out of the inning, as Gibson settled underneath a fly ball, but it was ruled that Skapura had balked prior to the pitch. The inning unraveled from there, as the Bearkats picked up a pair of two-RBI doubles from Luke Plucheck and Lee, as well as a solo RBI single from Atwood to put SHSU up 7-1.
The Bearkats added two more in the following inning to go up 9-1, as their pitching staff closed out the game to secure the win.
The Southland Tournament will run from May 21-24 and will be a double elimination format. For full info on the tournament, check out the tournament central page HERE.
To keep up with the Islanders throughout their tournament run follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersBSB) and through Facebook (IslandersBaseball).