No. 20 Blinn falls to Northeast Texas in Region XIV Tournament opener, 8-6

LUFKIN, Texas – No. 20 Blinn College baseball lacked run support early on as the Northeast Texas Community College Eagles were able to earn an 8-6 victory in the opening round of the 2018 NJCAA Region XIV Baseball Tournament Saturday afternoon at Roadrunner Field.

With the loss, Blinn falls to 36-16 overall and will face the losing team of tonight's game between Navarro College and Galveston College. Blinn's next game will be in the consolation bracket on Sunday, May 13, at 1 p.m.

"We were one swing away from tying it, so I am glad that we found a way to get back in the game late, but I am disappointed in the outcome," said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach.

Gray Rodgers led Blinn's offense with two RBIs, while Brandon Ashy, Drew Ardoin, Cameron Gibbons and Koby Collins each drove in a run. Ashy and Alec Sanchez each produced two hits.

Northeast Texas was on the board first after hitting a solo home run in the third inning to lead 1-0. A three-run double and a three-run homer in the fifth inning allowed the Eagles to gain a 7-0 advantage.

Blinn didn't arrive on the board until the sixth inning when the Buccaneers scored two runs. Rodgers scored the first run after Gibbons walked the bases loaded, while Sanchez scored on a groundout for the Buccaneers to trail 7-2.

Blinn didn't score again until the eighth inning after leaving two runners in scoring position in the seventh.

The Buccaneers gained on Northeast Texas, 8-6, after scoring four runs in the eighth inning. After the Buccaneers loaded the bases, Ardoin was hit by a pitch for Gibbons to come home. Ashy followed with a solid single for Sammy Blair to score, while Rodgers drove in two runs with a single for Reggie McCalister and Ardoin to come home. A passed ball allowed the tying runs in Ashy and Rodgers to move into scoring position, but they were left on base.

The Buccaneers rally attempt came to an end in the ninth inning for an 8-6 final.

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