Thunderbirds rough up Bucs in double-header

HOBBS, N.M. – Jake McCasland and the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds gave the Blinn Buccaneers an inhospitable welcome to the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico defeated Blinn 16-3 and 15-7 here Saturday as McCasland drove in nine runs, including seven in the second game of the double-header.

The Buccaneer pitching staff never got its footing as seven different Thunderbirds drove in runs in the opening game. Emmanuel Forcier and Connar O'Gorman each drove in three runs for New Mexico, while McCasland and Omar Gomez each drove in two.

Taylor Cobb threw the first 1 2/3 innings for the Bucs, allowing eight earned runs before Kyle Mueller came on in relief. Mueller allowed two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings and J.C. Neighbors threw the final 2/3 inning, allowing six earned runs.

Tyler Coker hit a two-run homer and Kevin Santana hit a solo shot for the Bucs.

The Buccaneers got more offense in the second game, but McCasland almost single-handedly led the Thunderbirds, blasting two home runs and smacking a triple on his way to seven RBIs.

Brandon Montalvo went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for the Bucs, and Cullen Gassaway was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Santana went 3-for-4 and Colin Kowal drove in a pair of runs.

Freshman Robert Dickey allowed six earned runs in four innings for Blinn, and Michael Vielma allowed three earned runs in 2/3 innings of relief. Tyler Day threw three innings, allowing two earned runs, before Cole Doherty recorded the final out.

With the losses, Blinn fell to 2-6 on the season.

Blinn and New Mexico conclude the three-game series in Hobbs at 11 a.m. Sunday.