EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros baseball team beat the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 14-4 in eight innings on Tuesday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium as part of the South Texas Showdown, in front of a sellout crowd of 1,175.
Graduate student Coleman Grubbs led the Vaqueros (17-17) by going a season-high-tying 3-for-5 with a double, three RBI, and one run scored for his sixth multi-hit game of the season. Junior Vela alum RJ Ochoa posted his fifth multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a double, a career-high three RBI, and a career-high-tying two runs scored. Graduate student Andy Atwood recorded his ninth multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a career-high-tying three runs scored. Junior Angel De La Cruz recorded his fourth multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Postbaccalaureate student Christian Sepulveda posted his ninth multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Carson Letterman recorded his first-career hits, going 2-for-3. Senior Elijah Alexander reached base twice, finishing 1-for-4 with a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored.
The Vaqueros scored 10 runs over the first three innings, including four in the first and five in the third.
Down 2-0, the Vaqueros loaded the bases with one out in the first against Daniel Nelson (0-1). Ochoa laced a double into the left-center field gap to bring in two runs. During the next at-bat, Atwood scored on a passed ball and Ochoa moved to third. Senior Elijah Alexander followed with a groundout to bring home Ochoa and make the score 4-2.
Grubbs came up with a sacrifice fly in the second to make the score 5-2.
Then, in the third, with the score of 5-3, the Vaqueros loaded the bases with nobody out. Alexander walked to force in a run. Postbaccalaureate student Christian Sepulveda brought home a run on an infield single. Senior Jacob Hirsh followed with a sacrifice fly. Carson Letterman then hit a fly ball to right field. The ball was caught but dropped on the transition, allowing Alexander to score. Grubbs capped the inning with an RBI-single to make the score 10-3.
The Vaqueros added three runs in the eighth on an Ochoa single, a wild pitch that scored Hirsh, a passed ball the scored Alexander, and a walk-off double by Grubbs.
The Islanders (13-23) got on the board against freshman Zach Tjelmeland (1-0) on a two-run home run by Brendan Ryan with two outs in the first.
That was it against Tjelmeland, who in his first career start, racked up a career-high four strikeouts in a career-high 2.1 innings.
The Islanders added a run in the third on a Josh Caraway single before scoring again in the sixth on an error.
UTRGV resumes Western Athletic Conference play with a series against Seattle U, presented by Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 and Sunday at 12 at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.