SUGAR LAND, Texas — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 5-3 victory over the University of Central Arkansas on Wednesday in the first round of the 2013 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament on a hot, humid afternoon at Constellation Field.

The seventh-seeded Bears (34-20) trailed 2-0 until the eighth inning when they plated three runs. But the second-seeded Islanders came back and scored three runs in the bottom of the inning. UCA loaded the bases in the top of the ninth inning but A&M-CC’s fifth pitcher of the game — and third of the inning — forced a game-ending double play to end it.

The Bears will face Stephen F. Austin at 9 a.m. Thursday in an elimination game. The winner will play again at 9 a.m. Friday against the loser of Thursday afternoon’s ORU-A&M-CC game.

The Bears had beaten the Islanders two out of three during the regular-season series in Corpus Christi, including a win over Wednesday’s starter Trevor Foss, who entered the game with an 8-6 record.