Brenham, Texas — Blinn College baseball (4-1) scored 16 runs in a doubleheader against Howard College to defeat the Hawks, 9-7 and 7-1, Friday in the home opener at Leroy Dreyer Field.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team and how they responded in the first inning after falling behind by three runs," said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach. "We ran away with the doubleheader after that and I couldn't have asked our team to play any better both offensively and defensively. We played good baseball all day."
Blinn 9 – Howard 7
Millender stuck out 10 in five innings, while only surrendering three runs.
"It feels great to win our first two games at home and today was a complete team effort," McCalister said. "We had a lot of two-out RBIs that were huge. I love that everyone in our offense picks each other up and we can piece together hits and runs."
Howard opened the game with a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but a three-run shot over the fence by Sanchez in the bottom half quickly evened the score.
Blinn pulled ahead for good in the second inning when Blake Winkelman scored on a sacrifice fly for the Buccaneers to lead 4-3.
The Buccaneers produced a big third inning, scoring five runs off a two-run single by McCalister and three-run home run by Schields.
Howard chipped away at Blinn's lead by scoring one run in the fifth inning and three runs in the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough.
Blinn 7 – Howard 1
Pitcher Ryan Day quieted Howard's bats en route to a 7-1 win over the Hawks in the final game of the doubleheader.
In Day's first start of the season, he threw a complete game and only surrendered one run on one hit, while striking out nine.
"All of my stuff felt good today and I felt confident with the guys who were behind me," Day said. "Our offense was great, and it is a lot easier to put zeros on the board when my team is scoring run after run."
Blinn's offense got to Howard's starter early, scoring three runs in the first inning. McCalister and Schields each led off with walks, followed by a one-run double by Gibbons. Minninch batted in the next two runs with a single for the Buccaneers to lead 3-0.
In the second inning the Buccaneers tacked on two more runs when McCalister and Schields scored once again, this time off a one-run single by Gibbons and sacrifice fly by Sanchez.
McCalister hit a single for Minninch and Winkelman to score Blinn's final two runs in the third inning for a 7-0 lead.
Howard scored its lone run in the fourth inning with a solo home run.
The Buccaneers will face off against Howard in a doubleheader tomorrow with games starting at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Leroy Dreyer Field to finish the series.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.