BRENHAM, Texas – Johnny Rizer came up huge when Blinn College baseball needed it the most as Rizer blasted a walk-off solo home run to beat Galveston College 11-10 and break a five-game losing streak Saturday night at Leroy Dreyer Field.
The Buccaneers fell to Galveston 8-5 to open the doubleheader to split the pair. With the split, Blinn's overall record moves to 21-18 and 12-11 in Region XIV play.
Galveston 8 – Blinn 5
Blinn had a hard time keeping Galveston off the scoreboard in the middle innings as the Buccaneers weren't able to recover in an 8-5 loss to open the doubleheader.
Blinn was able to hit three home runs in the loss. Sam McElreath hit a two-run shot while Jay Anderson and Rizer each hit a solo shot. Colton Parrish had an RBI in the final inning in a rally that fell three runs short. Tyler Fowler added a double in the loss.
Rizer came on as a relief pitcher in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings while allowing one hit and striking out three to keep Blinn within striking distance in the final innings.
Galveston struck first with a single run in the first inning for a 1-0 lead but it didn't last long. Anderson tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run to right for Blinn and then McElreath gave the Buccaneers a 3-1 lead with a two-run home run to right. The middle of the game is where Galveston took control with a pair of runs in the third and fourth innings and then the Whitecaps added three more in the fifth for an 8-3 lead.
Blinn was able to cut into the lead in the sixth with a solo home run from Rizer to get within 8-4. In its final at-bats, Blinn received a leadoff double by Fowler and he later scored on an RBI single through the right side of the infield by Parrish to get the Buccaneers within 8-5. That would be as close as Blinn would get in the three-run loss.
Blinn 11 – Galveston 10
With the game tied to begin the ninth inning, Rizer stepped up and blasted a walk-off solo home run to left to give Blinn a much-needed 11-10 victory over Galveston to force a split of the doubleheader.
Rizer's only hit was the game winning home run while Anderson, Marshall Skinner and Anthony Jones each had a home run in the win. Zach Smith came on to pitch the final three scoreless innings to earn the win after allowing just two hits and striking out five.
Galveston got on the board first with a single run in the third inning but Blinn battled right back in the bottom of the third. Skinner started the inning with a single and then scored on a RBI single by Jones to left to tie the game at 1-1. McElreath gave Blinn the lead with a bases loaded walk for a 2-1 edge and then Angel De La Fuente gave Blinn a 3-1 lead with a sacrifice fly to center. Galveston countered with three runs in the fourth for a 4-3 lead.
The Buccaneers used the long ball to take the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. Skinner belted a solo home run to tie the game up at 4-4 for Blinn. Jones followed three batters later with a two-run home run to left for a 6-4 Blinn lead. Galveston again battled back with five runs in the fifth to take a 9-6 lead.
Blinn didn't let a five-run Galveston inning lead to discouragement as the Buccaneers came right back in the bottom of the fifth. Rizer started the inning with a walk and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Fowler to get within 9-7. Anderson helped get Blinn within 9-8 with an RBI double to right.
Blinn tied the game up in the sixth as De La Fuente drew a one-out walk and then scored on a passed ball to make the score 9-9. Galveston scored a single run in the seventh to take a 10-9 lead, but it would be the final run scored by the Whitecaps.
Anderson helped to knot the game up in the seventh with a solo home run to right to make the score 10-10. The solo home run was used again by the Buccaneers as Rizer hit his walk-off shot in the ninth to give Blinn the 11-10 victory.
Blinn will next be on the road on Monday, April 10 to face No. 3 McLennan Community College at 2 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.