BRENHAM, Texas – It took a solid pitching performance from Kaylor Chafin and just enough offensive support for Blinn College baseball to edge Wharton County Junior College 5-2 in the opening game on April 15 at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham.
Wharton returned the favor in the nightcap by the same score, 5-2, to split the pair of games as both teams battle it out in the standings.
The split brings the Blinn conference record to 10-18 and its overall record to 19-20. Blinn is battling with Wharton for the fourth spot in the Region XIV South zone as Wharton is slightly ahead in the win column at 12-18.
Chafin pitched six innings and only allowed two runs while striking out seven and Nathan Alexander came on in the seventh to clean up the victory with a save. Patrick King had a solid game at the plate with three singles while Walker Winders picked up a pair of hits in the opener.
Christian Thames had the big hits for Blinn with a double and home run while knocking in two of the five Buccaneer runs.
Blinn got going early in the first inning when Thames hit a one-out double and then Jager Toffan nailed a single two batters later to left for a 1-0 advantage after one.
The Blinn lead expanded to 3-0 after Thames nailed a two-run home run to left. The scoring wasn't over for Blinn as Robbie Rojas singled in a run to give the Buccaneers a 4-0 lead. Wharton brought the score a little closer with a pair of runs in the fifth to get within 4-2.
Blinn was able to extend its lead in the sixth when Clayton Auippa doubled to start off and then King brought in Auippa with a single for a 5-2 edge. Alexander came on in the seventh to close out the save for Blinn.
Wharton flipped the script and the score on Blinn in winning 5-2 in the nightcap. Cullen Jozwiak had two of the five Blinn hits and both of them were doubles. Thames also doubled and knocked in a run but it wasn't enough to sweep Wharton.
Wharton jumped ahead with a single run in the top of the first but Blinn came right back in the bottom half. Jozwiak doubled to begin the bottom half and then Thames followed with a double of his own to knot the game 1-1 after one.
Blinn grabbed the lead in the fifth inning when King hit a one-out single and then was brought in on an RBI single by Stephen Stuart for a 2-1 advantage. That would be the final time Blinn would touch the plate as Wharton scored three in the sixth and added an insurance run in the ninth for the 5-2 victory.
Blinn is next scheduled to travel to Wharton on April 18 for a double-header that begins at 2 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 32 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.