SFA Beats TAMUCC In Slugfest
April 5, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Junior Kyle Thornell knocked two homeruns to fuel the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team to a 12-10 victory over Texas A&M - Corpus Christi to even the series 1-1 on Saturday evening at Chapman Field.
Thornell finished 4-for-5 with five RBI and two runs scored, becoming the first SFA (14-15, 5-6 SLC) player with two long-balls in the same game since Hunter Dozier (5/5/13) did so against Northwestern State last season.
The `Jacks recorded 18 hits in total in their slugfest with TAMUCC (17-16, 7-4 SLC), as the two teams combined for 32 hits.
Thornell was one of five SFA players to record a multi-hit game, joined by seniors Mackenzie Handel, Zach Marberry, Ricardo Sanchez and brother Brett Thornell. Of the four seniors, Marberry was the lone `Jack to record an extra-base hit with a double, his 14th of the season, as all four crossed home plate in the win. Marberry and Sanchez each turned in 3-for-5 performances, with Brett Thornell and Handel picking up a pair of hits.
Junior Dillon Mangham (5-2) picked up his team-leading fifth win of the season, logging five and two-thirds innings pitched. Mangham scattered eight hits and four unearned runs with two walks, while striking out eight. Junior Tyler Wiedenfeld picked up his fifth save, pitching the finial two and two-thirds innings.
SFA set the tone early, taking advantage of a pair of Islander miscues to plate three runs in the opening frame and take an early lead. Freshman Matthew Dickey and Sanchez reached base to open the game, before Handel reached on a fielder's choice to trade places with Sanchez and put runners at the corners. Marberry then delivered Dickey on a dropped flyball to right field on a sac fly, before freshman Conner Fikes plated Handel on a grounder the other way in the infield. Freshman Nick Ramos singled up the middle one batter later to score the final run of the frame for the `Jacks.
In the top of the fourth, SFA added five runs to state itself out front 8-0. With one out, Kyle Thornell started the offensive onslaught with a homer to right field, his first of the season, which plated Brett Thornell, who singled to open the frame. Dickey continued with a triple to left center, his first of the season, before the `Jacks rattled off four consecutive singles to add three more runs.
TAMUCC did not bow out however, taking advantage of two SFA errors to score four unearned runs and cut the deficit to 9-4 headed into the seventh, where then Islanders scored three more to make it 9-7.
After TAMUCC made it a one-run game in the bottom of the eighth to make it 9-8, Kyle Thornell hit a three-run homer over the right center field wall in the top of the ninth and the `Jacks held on to even the series in the bottom frame.
SFA will go for the series win on Sunday in a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. The `Jacks will send senior Kevin Bishop to the mound opposite of Islander Devin Skapura.