Ashy delivers walk-off home run for Blinn to sweep Galveston

BRENHAM, Texas – Blinn College baseball used a solid pitching performance and explosive offense to sweep the Galveston College Whitecaps in a doubleheader by the scores of 4-3 and 12-4 on Thursday afternoon at Leroy Dreyer Field.

A two-run homer off the bat of Brandon Ashy allowed the Buccaneers to run-rule Galveston in eight innings to close out the doubleheader.

The pair of victories give Blinn a 23-12 overall record and 15-6 record in Region XIV play.

"I thought that we pieced it together on the mound and made pitches that didn't let Galveston get back in the game," said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach. "We played really good defense and these were big wins for us."

Blinn 4 – Galveston 3

The Buccaneers opened the four-game conference series against Galveston College with a 4-3 victory after displaying solid offense and defense. Bryce Miller sealed the win on the mound after only surrendering one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings, while striking out five. Andrew Morgan handed the ball over to Miller after a solid start with just two runs on four hits in the first 4 2/3 innings.

Reggie McCalister led the offense after going 3-for-4 and scoring one run, while Sammy Blair followed with two hits, while scoring one run. Marshall Skinner and Gray Rodgers each drove in a run in the victory.

"We were well prepared and had a good game plan coming into today," said McCalister, freshman left fielder. "We are resilient and hard workers who grind it out until the end in every game."

Galveston opened the game with a 1-0 lead in the first inning and the Buccaneers didn't answer back until the third inning when they scored two runs. Blair laid down a bunt single and then advanced to third base on a throwing error to lead off the inning. He scored the first run for Blinn by stealing home. Drew Ardoin scored Blinn's second run in the inning on a fielder's choice for the Buccaneers to claim a 2-1 advantage.

Galveston scored one run in the fourth inning to even the score 2-2, but Blinn answered back with two runs in the fifth inning to take back a 4-2 lead. McCalister led off the inning with his third single of the game and later scored on a fielder's choice. Rodgers scored Blinn's final run of the game on an error.

Galveston managed one more run in the sixth inning, but it wasn't enough as the Whitecaps fell to Blinn, 4-3.

Blinn 12 – Galveston 4

The Buccaneers ran away from a back and forth game by scoring nine runs in the final four innings to run-rule Galveston in eight innings by the score of 12-4 to close out the doubleheader with a sweep.

Jacob Millender sealed the win for Blinn after surrendering four runs on eight hits, while striking out seven in seven innings.

Ashy led Blinn's offense after going 4-for-5 and hitting two home runs, including a walk-off two-run homer in the eighth inning, while driving in five runs. Rodgers went 3-for-4 with a home run, while Alec Sanchez went 2-for-3 for two RBIs.

Blinn and Galveston exchanged leads during the first five innings of the game. Blinn was the first on the board with one run in the opening inning after Skinner was hit by a pitch and brought home by a single off the bat of Ashy.  

Galveston quickly evened the score in the top of the second inning with one run, but Blinn pulled back ahead 2-1 in the bottom half after Blair managed a double and later scored on an error.

In the third inning, the Whitecaps leveled the score once again, however a solo home run by Skinner put Blinn back on top 3-2 in the bottom of the inning.

The Whitecaps managed to lead off the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run of their own to tie the game 3-3 and in the fifth inning took a 4-3 lead.

Blinn answered back in the bottom of the fifth inning with four runs to take the lead for good. Ashy drove in the first run with a double for Skinner to score, while Sanchez followed with a two-run single for Rodgers and Ashy to score. Sanchez scored the final run of the inning on an error for Blinn to lead 7-4.

Rodgers and Sanchez each hit a solo home run in the sixth inning for Blinn to extend its lead to 9-4. Koby Collins added a run for Blinn in the seventh inning after scoring on a line drive to center field. In the eighth inning, Rodgers singled and Ashy followed with a two-run shot to end the game early.

"These wins were huge and a big confidence builder," McCalister said.

The Buccaneers will travel to Galveston on Friday, April 13 to finish the series against the Whitecaps in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.