Buccaneers, Gators split rain-delayed double-header

KEVIN SANTANA HOUSTON – The Blinn Buccaneers will enter their final Region XIV Conference series of the season looking to keep hold of third place in the South Zone.

Blinn defeated San Jacinto 8-0 today in a game that was postponed after the first six innings were played Saturday, but the Gators took back the momentum with an 8-2 Game 2 victory.

Alvin and San Jacinto will now enter the final week of the season tied for first place with a 20-7 record. They play a three-game series this weekend.

Blinn, which fell to 16-11 in Region XIV Conference play, will look to hold off Galveston, which sits in fourth place with a 15-12 mark. Blinn and Galveston will also conclude the season with three head-to-head games.

"You've got it all in your own hands heading down the stretch," Blinn coach Harvey McIntyre said. "You can't ask for anything more."

The Buccaneers piled up 12 hits in the opener as third baseman Kevin Santana went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Cullen Gassaway, Hayden Vesely and Josh Garza each had two hits and drove in a run.

The Buccaneers led 4-0 when rain postponed the game Saturday, and wasted no time adding to that lead when play resumed Sunday, scoring three more runs before San Jacinto could end the sixth inning.

Sophomore Karl Malecek threw the first five innings Saturday, shutting out the Gators on three hits and a walk. He struck out two before Tyler Day took over on Sunday. Day threw two shutout innings without allowing a hit.

But in the second game, it was almost all San Jacinto. Brandon Montalvo got the Buccaneers on the board with a second-inning homer, but San Jacinto's Nolan Riggs retired the next 11 batters in order.

The Buccaneers finished with just three hits. Nolan Brown doubled to drive in a run and Colin Kowal also doubled.

Weston Wick went three innings on the mound, allowing six earned runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out three before Michael Vielma came on and threw five strong innings of relief. Vielma allowed one earned run on two hits and a walk.

The Buccaneers conclude the regular season this week with a three-game weekend series against Galveston College. The Whitecaps host the Buccaneers for a 1 p.m. game Friday before both teams close their seasons Saturday with a 1 p.m. double-header at Leroy Dreyer Field.