No. 20 Blinn comes back to eliminate Navarro in extra-inning thriller, 7-6

LUFKIN, Texas – No. 20 Blinn College baseball trailed Navarro College until the Buccaneers tied the game in the ninth and then put the Bulldogs away in the tenth by the score of 7-6 Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Field.

With the win, Blinn improves to 37-16 overall and will face Alvin Community College on Monday, May 14, at 10 a.m.

"This was a great team win and I am proud of our guys for continuing to compete and fight for runs," said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach. "We got big knocks to get us back into the game and win."

The Buccaneers were one strike away from being eliminated when Marshall Skinner hit a solo home run to even the score 6-6 in the ninth and send the game into extra innings.

"It was the best feeling ever to tie the game and the energy was electric and passed on to everybody," Skinner said. "We worked together for the comeback and the rally really started with Reggie McCalister's two-run triple the inning before to put us in the situation to tie the game."

In the tenth inning, Gray Rodgers delivered the game winning run with a single for McAlister, who walked earlier in the inning, to score.

Rodgers and McAlister each led Blinn with two RBIs each, while McCalister also scored two runs. Skinner, Koby Collins and Sammy Blair each drove in a run for the win, while Alec Sanchez scored two runs.

Bryce Miller sealed the win after coming out of the bullpen and not allowing a hit in 2 1/3 innings. Jacob Millender gave the Buccaneers a solid start after only surrendering three runs on four hits, while striking out six in 4 2/3 innings.

Navarro took an early 4-0 lead after scoring one run in the third inning, two runs in the fourth inning and adding one more in the fifth inning.

Blinn scored its first two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut Navarro's lead in half. Collins delivered the first run with a lead-off solo shot over the fence, while McCalister scored on a groundout.

The Buccaneers narrowed in on Navarro, 4-3, after Blair drove in a run in the sixth inning with a single that allowed Sanchez to score.

Navarro added some cushion to its lead in the eighth inning after scoring two runs to lead 6-3.

Blinn answered back in the bottom half of the eighth with two runs after McCalister hit a triple that scored Sanchez and Cameron Gibbons.

Skinner's solo home run evened the score in the ninth and Rodgers' one-run single gave the Buccaneers a 7-6 walk-off victory.

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