By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay
For the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders baseball team, a victory at home against UTSA on Tuesday night at Chapman Field meant a little more than usual.
The Islanders scored four runs in the third inning for a five-run lead and then coasted past the Roadrunners, 8-2.
A few weeks ago, A&M-Corpus Christi played in San Antonio and lost all three games to UTSA in a weekend series.
Moreover, the Roadrunners won the three games by a combined margin of 50-18, including a mind-boggling 31-6 victory on March 11.
Sparked by pitching, error-free defense and timely hitting, A&M-Corpus Christi made amends in the fourth and final non-conference meeting between the teams this season.
Starting pitcher Matthew Watson (2-2) allowed two runs on five hits in 5 and 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
In addition, Max Puls supplied both defense and offense. As a left fielder, he robbed UTSA’s Shane Sirdashney of a possible two-run homer to end the fifth inning and, as a batter, he produced two of his team’s 11 hits and an RBI.
Diego Johnson also had a big night, contributing a couple of hits, an RBI and a couple of nice fielding plays at third base.
One came in the eighth when he snared a hard ground ball off the bat of Matt King and started an inning-ending double play.
Not to be outdone, the Islanders’ bullpen didn’t let the Roadrunners explode on them as they did in San Antonio.
All told, they kept some of the most dangerous hitters in the state off balance and limited the visitors to only seven hits.
Evans Hendricks, a junior out of Navarro High School, struck out three and pitched a scoreless ninth for A&M-Corpus Christi of the Southland Conference.
It was a tough night for the Roadrunners, who had won two of three on the road against the Rice Owls in Conference USA last weekend and 12 of their last 14 overall.
Antonio Valdez, Sammy Diaz and Tye Odom led the offense with two hits apiece.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 13-13
Western Kentucky at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.
Western Kentucky at UTSA, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at UTSA, Sunday, 12:30 p.m.