Islanders score four times in 6th to rally past Wildcats
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi scored four times in the decisive sixth inning Saturday afternoon as the Islanders went on to knock off ACU, 8-4, in Southland Conference baseball action at Crutcher Scott Field.
The Islanders -- who have won the series, thanks to wins in the first two games -- go for the series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Wildcats' 2014 home finale. ACU will carry a 16-27 overall mark and 5-12 Southland record into Sunday's game, while the Islanders are now 27-21 and 16-7.
ACU led the Islanders, 4-3, before Corpus Christi was able to push four runs across the plate in the top of the sixth inning against Wildcat starting pitcher Brady Rodriguez. With one out and the bases loaded, Russell Vaughan blooped a single into center field that plated both Brandon Tierney and Tyler Ware to give the Islanders a 5-4 lead.
After a walk and a fielder's choice left runners at second and third with two outs, Kyle Danford singled just past ACU third baseman Emil Litterer into left field to drive in Vaughan and Jacob Hubert to make it a 7-4 game.
The Islanders added another run in the top of the ninth on back-to-back two-out triples by Cody Stephens and Ware to make the final 8-4.
Corpus Christi jumped on top 3-0 in the top of the first on a two-run single by Stephens and an RBI double by Ware, but Rodriguez was able to escape the inning without any further damage. ACU got right back in the game in the bottom of the first when Seth Spivey singled and scored on a two-run home run to left field by freshman DH Russell Crippen, his third homer of the season. ACU got the game tied later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by freshman second baseman Aaron Draper.
The Wildcats took a 4-3 lead in the third when Brandon Grudzielanek singled, went to second on a wild pitch and then scored the go-ahead run on a single by Litterer. That lead held up until the sixth when the Islanders put four on the board to take the lead for good.
Trevor Belicek got the win, scattering seven hits and four runs over six innings to improve to 4-5 on the season. Rodriguez was saddled with the loss as he gave up 10 hits and seven runs (five earned) over 5 2/3 innings. Kevin Landgrebe pitched the final three innings for the Islanders, allowing just one hit and one walk to earn his first save of the season.
Information for this story provided by Abilene Christian Athletics.