BEAUMONT, Texas — Blinn College baseball outhit Angelina College in an offensive showdown to open the 2019 NJCAA Region XIV Baseball Tournament. Jake Miller's grand slam allowed the Buccaneers to overcome an early deficit, but they eventually lost to the Roadrunners, 12-9, Sunday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
With the loss, Blinn falls to 28-22 overall and will face the losing team of the 5 p.m. game between Laredo College and No. 18 Navarro College. Blinn's next game will be in the consolation bracket on Monday, May 13, at 10 a.m.
Blinn and Angelina each had strong offensive outings as the Buccaneers manufactured 13 hits for nine runs and the Roadrunners cranked out 12 hits for 12 runs. Both teams totaled six extra-base hits.
A grand slam allowed Miller to lead Blinn's offense with four RBIs, while Reggie McCalister and Cameron Gibbons each drove in two runs. In addition, Gibbons and Westley Schields came up with three hits apiece, combining for three doubles.
After Blinn fell behind 11-6 in six innings, the bullpen was phenomenal in the final three frames to give the Buccaneers a chance to rally back. Jace Hutchins tossed two innings and only surrendered one run on one hit, while AJ Irvin pitched one hitless inning.
Blinn had to recover from a rocky start after Angelina took a 2-0 lead with a home run in the first inning, extended its lead to 3-1 with a solo home run in the second inning and scored three unearned runs on two errors and a passed ball in the top of the third inning to lead 6-2.
Blinn's first pair of runs were scored on Gibbons one-run single in the first inning and Alec Sanchez's sacrifice fly in the second inning.
Blinn was able to erase the early 6-2 deficit when Miller went yard with a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning to the tie the game.
Following a scoreless fourth inning, Angelina built another big lead, scoring two runs in the fifth inning on a single, three runs in the sixth inning on a home run and one run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch for a 12-6 advantage.
Blinn's offense rallied for three runs in the eighth inning after Preston Hoffart and Shields led off with singles and McCalister followed with a triple for two runs. Gibbons sent the ball into the outfield for McCalister to score Blinn's final run on the sacrifice.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.