Buccaneers pick up first win of the season vs. Howard

BIG SPRING, Texas – The Blinn Buccaneers picked up their first victory of the season here Friday in a double-header split with Howard College.

Howard won the opener 2-0 behind the strength of four inning-ending double plays, but the Buccaneers bounced back to win the finale 4-0.

Freshman right-hander Robert Dickey earned the Buccaneers' first win of the season, throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and walked four while striking out three.

Weston Wick, a freshman left-hander, threw the final 2 1/3 innings, striking out two without allowing a hit.

"They were phenomenal," said Blinn (1-3) coach Harvey McIntyre. "To throw seven straight zeroes against a good team, those guys really stepped up.

"Robbie struggled early, but once he settled down he was phenomenal and so was Wick. Those guys grew up today."

The Bucs got their first run of the day in the second inning when Cullen Gassaway grounded out to score Taylor Cobb. In the third inning, Colin Kowal hit a sacrifice fly, Tyler Coker hit an RBI double and Kevin Santana followed with an RBI single.

Colin Fry was 2-for-3.

"It took Tyler Coker to step up and be a bus driver," McIntyre said. "It's what we've been waiting on. Our approach was a thousand times better than it was on Wednesday.

"We got better today, no question."

David Palladino took the loss for Howard, allowing four earned runs on four hits and three walks. He lasted 4 1/3 innings.

David Gates led the Hawks past the Buccaneers in Game 1, throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings despite four hits and six walks. He struck out six and took advantage of Howard's four double plays.

"What are you going to do?" McIntyre said. "It wasn't because our approach wasn't good. It just didn't happen."

Howard scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning on a one-out sacrifice by Cameron Neal, and in the sixth Michael Resnick added an insurance run with an RBI double to left field.

Cobb threw 4 1/3 innings for the Bucs, allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out five before Kyle Mueller came on to record the final five outs. Mueller allowed one earned run on three hits and a walk.

"Cobb matched that guy pitch for pitch," McIntyre said. "It's the best he's pitched for us so far."

Kowal went 2-for-2 with a walk to lead the Buccaneer offense, while Cobb, Colin Fry and Josh Garza each added hits.

The Buccaneers will be in Lufkin Wednesday for a 3 p.m. double-header against Angelina College.