CORPUS CHRISTI — UTSA plated five runs in an eighth-inning rally to break a 2-2 tie and the Roadrunners evened this weekend's Southland Conference-opening series at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with a 7-2 victory on Saturday at Chapman Field.
UTSA (9-5, 1-1 SLC) sent all nine batters to the plate in the deciding inning. The Birds broke the tie on junior Ryan Dalton's run-scoring single up the middle and added four more insurance runs in the frame.
Junior Clint Sharp sparked the big inning a panel earlier, as the 6-foot-3 right-hander came on in relief and worked out of bases-loaded jam with no outs by fanning a batter and then forcing a double play grounder. Sharp (1-2) allowed just one hit and struck out four in three scoreless innings of work.
Meanwhile, freshman Horacio Correa III was 4-for-5 with an RBI and senior Colby Braddock went 2-for-3 and drove in three to lead the Roadrunners offensively.
The Islanders (8-8, 1-1 SLC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off freshman starter Justin Anderson.
Stafford Brantley put Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on top with a one-out single and Marc Damon doubled the lead with a sacrifice fly, but Anderson struck out Jordan Lee to leave the bases loaded and limit the damage.
Three frames later, UTSA cut the advantage in half after sophomore RJ Perucki drew a bases-loaded walk.
The Roadrunners tied the contest in the sixth when Braddock's pop up to shallow center fell safely and senior Matthew James scored from first.
Following Dalton's go-ahead RBI single in the eighth, UTSA tacked on its fourth run of the contest after Jacob Dorris' errant throw on Braddock's grounder allowed James to score from second. Perucki followed with a sharp liner into right center that plated both Dalton and Braddock. The Birds capped the scoring when Correa III's bunt single allowed Perucki to cross the plate.
Anderson logged his first quality start but received a no-decision. The Houston native surrendered a pair of runs (one earned) on five hits, walked one and struck out four in six innings.
Meanwhile, Trevor Foss (0-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits in 1.1 innings of relief.
The rubber game of the series will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday.