WHARTON, Texas - Blinn College baseball claimed a sweep after defeating Wharton County Junior College in two extra-inning games by the scores of 3-2 and 8-5 on Saturday afternoon at Wharton for the Buccaneers' fifth straight win.
With the pair of wins the Buccaneers' overall record improves to 7-3 and Region XIV record remains perfect at 3-0.
Blinn 3 - Wharton 2
The Buccaneers came out on top in a pitching duel that went into extra innings after scoring two runs in the top of the 10th inning to defeat Wharton 3-2.
Gray Rodgers led Blinn's offense after going 3-for-4 and driving in two runs. Hunter Trinidad and Alec Sanchez each managed two hits in the game and scored one run and Zach Cherry scored one run in the win.
Kyle Gray was solid on the mound as the Buccaneers' starting pitcher and only surrendered one run on three hits after seven innings of work. He struck out nine, while not allowing a walk. Bryce Miller came in as the relief pitcher for the final three innings of the game and improved his record to 3-0 after picking up the win. He allowed one run on three hits, while striking out three.
The Buccaneers were on the board first after scoring one run in the fourth inning. Sanchez led off the inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Rodgers.
Blinn held the lead until the seventh inning when Wharton scored a run due to an error to even the score 1-1.
The Buccaneers and Pioneers remained tied until the 10th inning when Blinn scored two runs to take a 3-1 lead. Trinidad led off the inning with a single, while Cherry and Marshall Skinner each walked to load the bases. Rodgers drove in his second run of the game with a single to score Trinidad, while Cherry came home on a groundout to the pitcher.
Wharton answered back with one run in the bottom of the 10th inning with one out, but the Buccaneers managed a double play to take the victory.
Blinn 8 - Wharton 5
Although Wharton rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings, the Buccaneers scored three runs in the eighth inning to seal an 8-5 win in the finale of the doubleheader.
Sanchez led Blinn's offense after going 4-for-4 and driving in three runs in the victory. Brandon Ashy also recorded three RBIs, while Marshall Skinner and Rodgers each drove in two runs in the victory.
Andrew Morgan sealed the win for Blinn on the mound after pitching three innings of relief and only surrendering one run on two hits, while striking out three.
The Buccaneers were on the board first after Sanchez hit a one-run single for Trinidad to score and Blinn to lead 1-0 in the third inning.
However, in the bottom of the third inning Wharton grabbed the lead for the first time in the doubleheader after scoring three runs.
The Buccaneers immediately answered back with three runs in the top of the third inning to take back a 4-3 lead. Skinner, Rodgers and Jackson Leath walked to load the bases and one swing of the bat for a double by Ashy unloaded the bases.
Blinn extended its lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning after Skinner hit a solo home run, but Wharton answered back with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Wharton still had some life left as the Pioneers rallied for a run to even the score 5-5 and send the game into extra innings.
Blinn immediately answered back in the top of the eighth inning with three runs for the victory. Rodgers scored the first run on an error, while Sanchez drove in the final two runs with a single for Richard Bailey and Jacob Miller to score.
The Buccaneers will be in action on Tuesday, Feb. 27 against Coastal Bend College in a non-conference doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. on the road.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 36 NJCAA national championships since 1987.