BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College baseball played good enough to win at times April 9 against Alvin Community College but it was Alvin coming out on top of both games with the help of timely home runs and win by the score of 7-5 and 7-4 at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham.
The losses were costly for Blinn's conference record as it fell to 9-17 and the Buccaneers fall below .500 on the overall record at 18-19.
Blinn hit the ball well in spurts in the opening game as Stephen Stuart hit a pair of doubles and Cullen Jozwiak added two singles but a two run home run for Alvin in the fifth was enough to come away with the 7-5 victory.
Blinn did come out strong in the opening inning when Jozwiak singled to begin and Stuart followed with a double. Rojas knocked in the first run of the game with a single to center and then Stuart was able to score later in the inning for a 2-0 lead. The lead didn't last long as Alvin scored three in the second inning for a 3-2 lead.
Thames made Alvin pay in the third inning for hitting Toffan with a pitch as Thames followed with an RBI double to knot the game up at 3-3. Alvin used the long ball in the top of the fourth for a 5-3 lead.
Blinn showed great resiliency in the bottom half of the fourth as Patrick King got it started when he was hit by a pitch and Stuart doubled in a run to get within 5-4. Toffan tied the game with a hard-hit ground ball to the right side to level the score at 5-5.
The long ball showed up when Alvin needed it as another two-run homer helped to clinch the game for Alvin for a 7-5 final.
Blinn put up a dramatic comeback in the ninth inning of the second game with two runs to tie the game at 4-4 but it was Alvin coming up with the hits to pull out a 7-4 extra-inning victory to sweep the pair. Thames had a solid game at the plate, going 4-for-4, with all four hits being singles. Clayton Auippa and Toffan each had an RBI in the loss.
Blinn couldn't have asked for a better start from Nathan Alexander on the mound as he went over seven innings while striking out nine and only allowed one earned run in the no-decision.
Blinn again had the offense early on as Stuart singled with one out and then was brought around to score on a double by Toffan for a 1-0 lead. Alvin went ahead in the fourth inning with a pair of runs and then added to that advantage with another pair of runs in the seventh for a 4-1 edge.
Toffan scored in the eighth inning to get Blinn within two runs after getting hit by a pitch and then scoring on a balk to make the score 4-2. The real drama came in the ninth when Hunter Lehman singled to begin the inning and then Thames followed with his fourth single. Pinch-runner Conner Smith scored on a wild pitch to get within a run and Auippa followed with a bloop single to right to tie the game at 4-4.
Unfortunately, Blinn was unable to push across another run in the ninth and Alvin hit two home runs in the 10th to close out the 7-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Blinn will be at home April 16 for a double-header against Wharton County Junior College that begins at 3 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 its 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.