BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College baseball got off to a perfect start in Region XIV play after sweeping Wharton County Junior College 2-1 and 6-3 Saturday evening at Leroy Dreyer Ballpark to secure a 3-0 sweep over the weekend.
The Buccaneers now have a 3-0 Region XIV record and stand at 9-6 overall with a five-game win streak.
"I told them tonight that they have bounced back since our last loss to Weatherford College and that is good teams have to do," said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach. "I think the effort on the mound has really helped us out."
Blinn 2 – Wharton 1
Blinn only had one at-bat in extra innings but Hunter Trinidad made it count as he was able to earn a walk-off solo home run in the opening game of the day to beat Wharton 2-1 in the eighth.
"No one was on and I was just trying to get on base and I hit the inside fastball over the fence," Trinidad said, about his game-winner. "This team just fights for each other and we don't quit if we get behind."
Both runs by the Buccaneers came by way of solo home runs. Trinidad hit his in extra innings and Sam McElreath hit a solo home run in the fifth to tie the game at 1-1.
Andrew Morgan pitched a gem for Blinn in going seven innings and allowing one unearned run on four hits while striking out 10 in the no decision. Cody Van Cleave was the recipient of the win after pitching a scoreless inning and striking out two.
"I had good command of my slider and was able to make two-strike pitches with it," Morgan said. "We had good defense all game and it was a great team effort out there."
Wharton did strike first with a single run in the fourth but then McElreath tied the game up at 1-1 with his solo home run. With the Blinn pitchers dealing, Trinidad started off the inning with his game-winning solo shot to left for the win.
Blinn 6 – Wharton 3
Wharton led in every game in this series but Blinn again found a way to come from behind again to earn a 6-3 victory to seal the sweep to open conference play.
Tyler Fowler drove in a pair of runs with a single and a double. Colton Parrish also had a double and a single while driving in one and McElreath had a pair of singles and an RBI in the win. Zach Smith came on in relief and pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings while striking out three.
Wharton struck first in the second inning with a single run to take a 1-0 lead. Blinn countered right back in the bottom half when Fowler was able to score on a Wharton throwing error to tie the game at 1-1. Wharton got back on top 2-1 with a run in the third.
Blinn never let Wharton see the lead again after the fourth inning that started with Johnny Rizer drawing a walk and then scoring on a ground out by McElreath to tie the game at 2-2. Fowler followed with an RBI single to right for a 3-2 lead.
That lead expanded in the sixth when Rizer started with a one-out single and then came in to score on a double to left-center by Parrish for a 4-2 lead. McElreath followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield for a 5-2 lead. Fowler capped the scoring with a double to left-center for a 6-2 Buccaneers lead. Wharton added one in the top of the seventh but Blinn held on for the three-run victory.
Blinn will next play at home on Tuesday, Feb. 28 against No. 17 Navarro College at 3 p.m.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 34 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
With an enrollment of 19,422 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. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.