Buccaneers clinch South Zone’s third seed at Region XIV Tournament

BRENHAM, Texas – The Blinn Buccaneers clinched the third seed out of the South Zone Saturday, setting up a match-up with Panola College in the first round of the Region XIV Conference Baseball Tournament next week.

Blinn defeated Galveston College 3-2 in the first game of a double-header Saturday to clinch its tournament seed before Galveston bounced back to win the second game 6-4.

The Bucs will play Panola, the second seed in the East Zone, at 1 p.m. May 11. The tournament is hosted by Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas.

The Buccaneers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to claim the clinching victory in Saturday's opening game.

A first-inning passed ball allowed Galveston to take the early lead, but the Buccaneers tied the score in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly by Josh Garza. Galveston's Austin Baron singled to drive in a run and break the tie in the top of the sixth, but the Buccaneers wasted no time in answering.

Kevin Santana and Nolan Brown each singled before Robert Garza drew a walk to load the bases. Another walk to Hayden Vesely brought home the tying run, and Taylor Cobb was hit by a pitch to score the winning run.

Santana had two of Blinn's five hits.

Karl Malecek threw the first 6 1/3 innings for the win. He allowed two earned runs on six hits and four walks. Michael Vielma came on to get the second out of the seventh inning and Blake Whitter retired the final batter to seal the victory.

The Buccaneers piled up 13 hits in Game 2, but Galveston's Nate Turner tallied four hits and scored four times and Tanner Hill drove in three runs.

Cullen Gassaway, Hayden Vesely and Colin Kowal each had three hits for the Buccaneers and Scott Jones added a pair. Gassaway, Vesely, Kowal and Holden Cammack each drove in runs for the Bucs.

Freshman Weston Wick threw the first 3 2/3 innings for the Buccaneers, allowing three earned runs on six hits. J.C. Neighbors threw 3 1/3 innings in relief, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks, and Trent Rape allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings. Brown recorded the final out for the Buccaneers.