AUSTIN, Texas -- Down five runs in the sixth inning, Texas nearly pulled off another comeback victory but came up just short after falling to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 8-7.
The Islanders (5-0) got on the board early in the first inning. After the first two batters reached on a walk and a single, senior pitcher Trey Hernandez grounded out to score the runner from third base. Two batters later, junior catcher Jumpy Garcia singled to center to score the second run of the inning.
In the top of the second inning, the Islanders tacked on another run. After loading the bases with their first three hitters, centerfielder Chris Vergne grounded into a double play and scored the runner from third.
In the third inning, A&M CC led off once again with the first two batters reaching safely. After being hit by a pitch, left fielder Matt Holland stole second. Right fielder Jacob Perales recorded an infield single to put runners on first and third. Jumpy Garcia grounded to third and recorded his second of four RBIís as the Islanders took the lead 3-0.
The Longhorns (3-2) answered in the bottom of the third after senior left fielder Paul Montalbano walked and shortstop Brandon Loy hit a triple to left-center field to put them on the board. Freshman right fielder Mark Payton grounded out to short, which scored Loy from third and cut the Islandersí lead in half.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi went back up by four in the fifth inning. Trey Hernandez began the inning with a walk followed by a single by left fielder Matt Holland. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, and another walk by the Texas pitching staff loaded the bases. Jumpy Garcia recorded his third and fourth RBIís of the game with a single down the left field line.
The Islanders continued their impressive hitting in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Hernandez walked, and Holland followed with a single through the left side. Perales singled for the second time of the game and scored Hernandez from second.
The Longhorns refused to go quietly and responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. After designated hitter Jonathan Walsh reached on a fielderís choice, both center fielder Cohl Walla and first baseman Tant Shepherd reached on walks to load the bases. Junior catcher Kevin Lusson came off the bench and smacked a double into right field scoring Walsh and Walla.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi responded with another run in the seventh. After designated hitter Logan Nottebrok reached on a fielderís choice, second baseman Jeramie Marek moved Nottebrok to second on a ground ball to third. Then, Nottebrok advanced to third off a wild pitch by reliever Nathan Thornhill. A few pitches later, shortstop Drew Vest singled to right field scoring Nottebrok from third and putting the Islanders back up by three.
However, the Horns would not let up. Shortstop Brandon Loy led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a perfectly placed drag bunt down the third base line. Mark Payton followed with a single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt from freshman third baseman Erich Weiss moved the runners to second and third, Jonathan Walsh singled to right center and recorded to RBIís.
The Horns threatened again in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Brandon Loy hit a ball deep to left center field, but Islander left fielder Matt Holland was there to run it down.
Texas threw eight pitchers and gave up eight runs on eleven hits while Texas A&M Corpus Christi threw four pitchers and gave up seven runs on six hits.
Freshman Islandersí pitcher Justin Meza (2-0) recorded the win while Texasí Keifer Nuncio (0-1) was credited with the loss.
The Horns travel to Honolulu, Hawaii on Feb. 25, to open up a three game series with the University of Hawaii.