BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College baseball played two distinctly different types of games to open the season but both ways were effective as the Buccaneers beat Angelina College 8-4 and Ranger College 3-0 Jan. 30 at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham.
Blinn used a strong offensive attack in the first game with a big fifth inning that helped to guide the Buccaneers over Angelina. It was more pitching and defense in the second game against Ranger as Seth Ballew and Nathan Alexander teamed up on the mound for a shutout.
"I told the kids after that the game that they are going to play 56 games and they may win 56 different ways," said Blinn head coach Harvey McIntyre. "It was really good to see us hang on to a 3-0 game and I thought we took some good swings tonight."
The Buccaneers came out strong offensively in the first inning as back to back RBI doubles by Ben Upton and Robbie Rojas gave Blinn a 2-0 lead. Clayton Auippa added an RBI single in the second to give Blinn a 3-0 lead.
After Angelina scored in the third and fourth to get within a run at 3-2, Blinn broke the game open with a five-run fifth. Upton knocked in a pair with a single and then Hunter Lehman provided the big blast over the left field fence to give Blinn an 8-2 lead. Angelina scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to make the game look closer but Blinn still opened up the season with the four-run victory.
Both Upton and Lehman knocked in three runs while picking up a pair of hits against Angelina. Lehman also pitched three scoreless innings over Angelina.
"I have been working with coach Jonathan Ogden a lot on my hitting," Lehman said after the Angelina game. "I was nervous on the mound to start because I only threw two-thirds of an inning as a freshman but it was a lot of fun being up there.
In the second game of the days, runs were harder to come by but Blinn was able to get a run in the bottom of the first when Cullen Jozwiak scored after a Ranger passed ball for a 1-0 lead. Jozwiak went 2-for-2 in the game with a pair of singles and also scoring twice.
The only other scoring for the Buccaneers came in the fifth inning when Upton was able to push in a run with a ground out and then Lehman scored a run by drawing a walk with the bases loaded for a 3-0 lead.
That would be the final runs scored by Blinn but that would be all they needed with Ballew and Alexander on the mound. Ballew pitched five innings with six strikeouts, which included striking out three batters in a row with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Alexander came on in the sixth and pitched four innings in relief and struck out five while neither pitcher gave up a run.
Blinn will face Ranger College again Jan. 31 in Brenham at 12 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 30 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled "Destination Success: First-Year Focus," which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.