Trailing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-1 in the third inning at Lupton Stadium on Tuesday night, with a runner on second and the meat of the Islander lineup coming up, head coach Jim Schlossnagle called on his bullpen to help him get out of a jam.
Reliever Tyler Lockwood calmly took the mound and picked off the runner. Horned Frog hurlers didn’t allow another baserunner on the evening as the team cruised to a 6-2 victory on Armed Forces Night.
Three costly errors doomed the Islanders (14-27), plating four of the Horned Frogs’ (24-11) six runs. Lockwood went 4 1/3 innings to earn the win while A&M-CC starter Brett Carnline allowed one earned run over 5 1/3 innings in a losing effort.
“We’ve been waiting for Lockwood to show the kind of pitcher that we think he is and that he has been in his career,” Schlossnagle said. “Hopefully tonight is the first step for that.”
Horned Frog starter Greg Holle was lifted in the third after allowing two runs on five hits, but the damage could have been more severe in that inning.
After a double to the center field wall, Aaron Schultz’s and Taylor Featherston’s relay throws beat Islander leadoff man Jeramie Marek to the plate for the second out of the inning. The Horned Frogs eventually got out of the jam when Lockwood entered the game.
Schultz recorded three hits as he made his first start of the season in center field. Schlossnagle said he was impressed with Schultz’s effort.
“I was just as excited about his defense as I was about his getting three hits,” Schlossnagle said. “I think the relay play was a game changer because you go from down 3-1 with a runner at first and second base and one out to down 2-1 and a runner on second. And then we get the pickoff play so it was really good.”
The Horned Frogs evened the game at two in the bottom of the third when Tyler Featherston scored on a Matt Carpenter double. It remained that way until the sixth, when Matt Vern scored on an error in left field to give the Horned Frogs all the run support they would need.
Senior Ben Carruthers continues to heal from a hand injury suffered last week against Texas-Pan American. X-Rays and a CT scan were negative, and a bone scan done Tuesday will determine if he suffered a stress fracture, Schlossnagle said. Depending on the results of the test, Schlossnagle said Carruthers’ return could be anywhere from days to four weeks away.