Blinn baseball opens conference series with sweep over Wharton, 4-2 and 8-2

WHARTON, Texas — Blinn College baseball (15-13, 7-9) defeated Wharton County Junior College by the scores of 4-2 and 8-2 to open a four-game conference series with a sweep Thursday night.

"We asked our guys to respond and answer the bell, and they did in all three phases today for two big wins," said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach. "We were outstanding on the mound and found a way to separate ourselves on the scoreboard offensively."

Blinn 4 – Wharton 2

The Buccaneers rallied for one run in each of the fifth and seventh innings to slide past Wharton, 4-2, in the first game of the doubleheader.

Jacob Millender was solid on the mound for the win as he threw a complete game and only surrendered two runs on five hits, while striking out nine.

Gray Rodgers led the offense with two RBIs, while Brett Minninch and Preston Hoffart followed with one each.

The Pioneers scored their only runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.

Blinn quickly evened the score 2-2 in the second inning after Nick Wolff scored on a sacrifice fly and Blake Faecher scored on a one-run single off Hoffart's bat.

The Buccaneers took the lead for the first time in the fifth inning after Westley Schields scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Rodgers. Alec Sanchez scored Blinn's final run in the seventh inning off a single by Rodgers.

Blinn 8 – Wharton 2

Henry Bird pitched five scoreless innings of relief to help lead Blinn to an 8-2 victory over Wharton for the sweep.

Bird only allowed one hit and struck out five, while Ryan Day recorded the win after tossing four innings and only surrendering two runs.

Cameron Gibbons drove in two runs, while Sanchez and Rodgers each scored two runs to lead Blinn's offense.  

Blinn led 3-0 in the first inning following a two-run homer by Gibbons and solo shot by Wolff.

Jake Miller scored Blinn's next run on a groundout in the third inning for the Buccaneers to pull ahead 4-0.

Wharton scored its only two runs in the third inning to cut Blinn's lead in half.

Blinn added one run in the fifth inning courtesy of a solo blast off the bat of Sanchez and two more in the eighth inning as Rodgers scored on Minninch's single and Faecher scored on Hoffart's sacrifice fly for the Buccaneers to lead 7-2.

Faecher drove in Blinn's final run with a triple to score Faecher in the ninth inning.

Next, Blinn will continue the conference series against Wharton in a doubleheader at Leroy Dreyer Field on Friday, March 29, starting at 3 p.m.

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