CORPUS CHRISTI -- The University of Texas-Pan American baseball team pounded out 17 hits, escaping a furious Islander rally in a 12-9 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday afternoon at Chapman Field. The victory extends the Broncs' (14-10) win streak to a season high tying five games and extends the Islander (22-15) losing streak to three.
The Broncs wasted no time pounding out the hits as they scored four run in the first inning. After the first three batters reached base, third baseman Vinnie Mejia smacked a double down the left field line which scored all three base-runners giving the Broncs the 3-0 advantage. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Mejia scored on Mike McCarthy's RBI groundout for the fourth run of the inning.
The Broncs padded their lead with a five run second inning to take a 9-0 advantage after two innings. Adrian De La Rosa tripled to the gap in left-center to lead off the frame. Two batters later Roger Bernal tripled to the same spot in the park, scoring De La Rosa and Alex Carnall increasing the UTPA lead to 6-0. Bernal scored on an Angel Ibaņez RBI single to right field to increase the lead to 7-0. UTPA added a pair of runs on an error and wild pitch to end the inning up by nine.
In the fourth the Broncs peppered the outfield with doubles from Bernal, Mejia and McCarthy, adding two more runs to increase lead at 11-0. Mejia and McCarthy each tacked on an RBI to their totals in the fourth.
The Islanders would finally respond with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Islander DH Caleb Marx hit an infield single scoring Jumpy Garcia from third for their first run of the game. Omar Garcia had a base hit of his own to make the score 11-2 Broncs at the end of five.
The Broncs added a run in the fifth, but the Islanders would answer back with a big number in the bottom half of the sixth. A leadoff double by Islander third baseman Logan Nottebrok started a five run sixth inning rally for the Islanders. Two batters later Marx doubled to score Nottebrok making the score 12-3 UTPA. Two more Islanders crossed home plate before Matt Holland stepped up the plate for TAMUCC. Holland pounded a Kyle Kotchie offering over the wall in right for a two-run homer closing the Islander deficit to 12-7.
The Islanders scored a single run in the eighth to close the Bronc lead to 12-8 going into the bottom of the ninth. Nottebrok hit an RBI single up the middle scoring Jacob Perales to make the score 12-9. The Islanders brought the tying run to the plate in Caleb Marx. Zach Zouzalik entered the game with two on and one out in the ninth and retired the only two batters he faced to pick up the save.
Kotchie (W, 1-2) battled through 5.2 innings of work allowing seven earned runs on 10 Islander hits, but picked up his first victory of the season. Brett Carnline (L, 5-3) took the loss after allowing the four Bronc runs in the first on four hits.
The Broncs return to Edinburg and Great West Conference play on Friday night when they play host to the New Jersey Insititue of Technology for the first game of a four-game weekend series. Friday's match-up against the Higlanders is scheduled for a 6:05 PM first pitch at Edinburg Baseball Stadium