Highlights From The Final Two Games Of The 2011 Season
by Cheval John
Friday May 20 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 5 Sam Houston State Bearkats 1
The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (A&M-CC) Islanders spoiled the farewell game of head coach Mark Johnson as they beat the Sam Houston State (SHSU) Bearkats 5-1.
The Islanders got on the board in the top of the first on a RBI single by leftfielder Matt Holland (2-5) that made it a 1-0.
They increased the lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth on a RBI double by shortstop Weston Montgomery (2-3).
The Bearkats pulled within one in the bottom of the eighth when catcher John Hale (1-2) scored on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Todd Simko and had an opportunity to tie the game, but to no avail. Hale singled earlier in the inning with one out and advanced to second on a single by firstbaseman Daniel Nottebart (2-4) and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice that allowed leftfielder Luke Plucheck (2-3) to reach first. After Hale scored, pinched hitter Tyler Jones walked and centerfielder Mark Hudson (1-2) followed with a walk to load the bases with two outs. Then thirdbaseman Kevin Miller (0-3) struck out to end the inning.
That allowed the Islanders to put the game out of reach when they exploded for three runs in the top of the ninth to make it 5-1. Logan Nottebrok, who replaced thirdbaseman Bobby Buckner (2-4) earlier in the game, led off the inning with a walk. Secondbaseman Jeramie Marek (1-2) reached on error by relieve pitcher Paul Spinn. Then Holland followed with an RBI single to make it 3-1. Firstbaseman Trey Hernandez (1-3) followed with a walk to load the bases. Then centerfielder Chris Vergne’s (2-4) RBI sacrifice fly increased the lead to 4-1. They scored the fifth run on a RBI single by shortstop Weston Montgomery (2-3).
Simko went eight innings and got the win for the Islanders and starting pitcher Matt Shelton got the loss for the Bearkats.
Saturday May 21 A&M-CC 6 SHSU 4
A&M-CC swept the series against SHSU by the score of 6-4. This was the final home game for head coach Mark Johnson, who is retiring at the end of the 2011 season.
The Bearkats scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first on a RBI single by thirdbaseman Kevin Miller (3-4).
But the Islanders exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth to make it 5-1. Secondbaseman Jeramie Marek (2-5) led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a single by firstbaseman Trey Hernandez (2-4). Marek would score from second on a RBI single by leftfielder Matt Holland (2-4) to tie the game. Rightfielder Jacob Perales (1-4) followed with a single to load the bases. The second run for the Islanders came on a bases loaded walk to centerfielder Chris Vergne (0-2). Then designated hitter Omar Garcia’s (1-4) two-run double and an error by leftfielder Luke Plucheck (0-3) capped the five run inning.
Hernandez would score the Islanders sixth run on a balk by relieve pitcher Brent Powers. Hernandez walked earlier in the inning with one out and advanced to third on a single by Holland.
The Bearkats scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI ground out by shortstop Braeden Riley (0-5) and on a RBI single by designated hitter Chris Andreas (2-3).
They had an opportunity in the bottom of the sixth when centerfielder Mark Hudson (0-2) led off the inning with a walk. He would advance to second on a bunt single by rightfielder Greg Olson (1-5). Catcher John Hale (2-5) followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Then firstbaseman Daniel Nottebart (3-4) hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-4. Then Plucheck struck out to make it one out and secondbaseman Ryan Mooney (0-4) fouled out to make it two outs and then Riley fouled out to end the inning.
They would have similar opportunities in the bottom of the seventh, the eighth and the ninth inning, respectively, but to no avail.
“We were in position several times to tie or win the game,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “You look for encouragements and we haven’t been that way for the last two days, so we felt that we were on the brink today.
For the Bearkats’ 13 seniors, even though they close out their playing careers at home with a loss, they are looking forward to send out their head coach Mark Johnson as a winner in the Southland Conference Baseball Tournament next week.
“He means everything to me,” senior Chris Andreas said. “He’s a great coach and it’s an honor for me to play for him and he taught me lessons on the field as well as off the field.”
“I am happy that we made the post season and have a chance to play for the Southland Conference Baseball Championship.”
“It’s disappointing for me because we wanted to finish strong,” senior Braeden Riley said. “The post-season is coming up and it’s a fresh start for us and we have to go out there and play.”
According to head coach Johnson, “Tournament time is an interesting time because the mentality changes and the whole physical make up and there’s no edges given.”
The Bearkats will be the #5 seed as they will face the #4 seed Southeastern Louisiana in the 2011 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament that will be held at Bobcat Ballpark on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos from May 25-28. The game will start at 4:00 pm. and will be broadcast live via internet on gobearkats.com. All of the games will be streamed live at www.southland.org. The championship game will be televised on the Southland Conference Television Network on Saturday night at 6 p.m.