Blinn baseball eliminates Alvin and Angelina to advance in regionals

BEAUMONT, Texas —Blinn College baseball kept its season alive by defeating Alvin Community College and Angelina College in the consolation bracket of the 2019 NJCAA Region XIV Baseball Tournament at Vincent-Beck Stadium on Tuesday.

Brett Minninch delivered for the Buccaneers on the offensive side with six RBIs in Blinn's 10-6 win over Alvin, while Westley Schields drove in three runs in the Buccaneers' 7-6 walk-off victory over Angelina.

With the pair of wins, Blinn improves to 31-22. Next, Blinn will face Panola College on Wednesday, May 15, at 1 p.m. 

Blinn 10 – Alvin 6 

Minninch totaled six RBIs to lead Blinn to a 10-6 victory over Alvin to open the third day at the 2019 NJCAA Region XIV Baseball Tournament.

Minninch hit two doubles and a three-run homer to tally six RBIs and two runs and lead Blinn's offense. Rodgers led the Buccaneers with four runs, while Gibbons followed with three runs in the victory.

Ryan Day earned the win after throwing six innings and only allowing three hits. 

Blinn and Alvin went back and forth until the fifth inning when the Buccaneers took the lead for good. Trailing 6-4, Blinn strung together four straight hits to take a 7-6 lead. Reggie McCalister kicked things off with a single and Cameron Gibbons followed with a double. Gray Rodgers cleared the bases with a double for two runs to score, then came home on Minninch's second triple of the game.

Minninch hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Buccaneers a 10-6 cushion for the remainder of the game.

Earlier in the game, Alvin was the first to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning courtesy of a two-run homer. However, the Buccaneers fought for it back in the bottom half of the frame as Minninch hit a triple to even the score and then scored on an error for Blinn to lead 3-2.

Following a scoreless second inning, Alvin took back a 4-3 lead in the top of the third inning with another two-run blast, but the Buccaneers evened the score in the bottom of the inning. An error on the Dolphins allowed Rodgers to take second base and he later scored on a double off the bat of Jake Miller.

In the fourth inning, the Dolphins extended their lead to 6-4 for a final time. After loading the bases, a sacrifice fly and fielder's choice allowed the two runs to score.

After Blinn took a 7-6 lead in the next inning, Day kept Alvin off the board for the remainder of the game for the win.

Blinn 7 – Angelina 6

Blinn rallied for three late runs to walk off the field with a slim 7-6 victory over Angelina. 

Westley Schields led the offense with three RBIs and two runs, while Preston Hoffart and Miller also each scored two runs in the win. 

Grayson Smith recorded the win after pitching the final three innings and only allowing three runs on two hits. 

Angelina hit two doubles in the seventh inning to score three runs for Blinn to trail 6-4 moving into the final two innings. However, the Buccaneers were able to rally back with two runs in the eighth and one run in the ninth for the win. Hoffart started things off with a double in the eighth and scored on Greyson Kash's single. Then, Schields hit a sacrifice fly for the Buccaneers to tie the game. In the ninth inning, Rodgers drew a walk and scored the winning run on an error for the walk-off win. 

Earlier, Angelina opened the game with a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after singling and scoring on a groundout, but the Buccaneers quickly evened the score 1-1. An error allowed Schields to land on base and he later scored on a groundout to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning. 

Alvin took back a 2-1 lead in the third inning on a sacrifice fly, but the Buccaneers once again fought back to level the score 2-2 in the fifth inning. After drawing a walk, Schields scored his second run of the game for Blinn on a single off the bat of McCalister. 

The Roadrunners immediately answered back in the next inning with a one-run single to take back a 3-2 lead, but Schields hit a two-run triple for Miller and Hoffart to score in the bottom of the frame for a 4-3 lead.       

Angelina took back the lead for a short time before the Buccaneers rallied back for the win. 

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.