There was only one way for Dusty Hart to describe it.

“Today was a really good day,” the Blinn College baseball head coach said.

Needing just one win to secure a second consecutive conference divisional championship, the 12th-ranked Buccaneers swept a Region XIV South doubleheader from Alvin Community College on Friday in Montgomery, Texas.

Blinn earned 8-3 and 8-1 victories over the Dolphins to capture the South regular-season title while also earning the right to host the upcoming Region XIV South Regional tournament for the second time in as many seasons.

The Bucs concluded the regular season with a 37-14 record and won the South with a 29-6 mark. 

Blinn would have also clinched the South with a San Jacinto College-North loss, but the Ravens swept their twin bill with Coastal Bend. San Jacinto finished two games behind the Bucs for second place in the South.

“It really never mattered what San Jacinto did or didn’t do,” Hart explained. “We wanted to make sure we took care of business because we didn’t want to have to rely on anyone else to do things for us. We grabbed the bull by the horns today and I’m really proud of our team.”

The Region XIV South Regional begins Thursday, May 9, at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham, Texas. Joining Blinn in the four-team tournament will be North runner-up Tyler Junior College, South third-place finisher Galveston College, and either Paris Junior College or Panola College, who will battle it out for fourth place in the North in a twin bill Saturday.

The winner of the North and South tournaments will meet in the Region XIV Super Regional series to decide the region’s NJCAA Division I Baseball World Series representative.

Blinn eliminated the possibility of any drama in game two of Friday’s doubleheader by cruising to the finish line in the opener.

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(Pictured: Blinn freshman pitcher Lucas Davenport)

The Bucs opened an early 3-0 lead with a three-run home run from freshman Caden Ferraro in the first inning and made it a four-run cushion on an RBI single from sophomore Coy DeFury in the third.

The Dolphins cut the lead to 4-2 in the home half of the third, but Blinn got right back to work in the fourth.

A bases loaded walk drawn by sophomore Brandon Bishop preceded a two-run single from DeFury as the Bucs pushed their advantage to 7-2 in the fourth.

Alvin scored once more in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Blinn sophomore Tanner Reaves closed the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh.

“We definitely got some big hits today,” Hart said. “There was a moment in time during that first game that Alvin started to come back and had us on our heels a bit. We did a really good job of answering and shutting them down.”

Reaves led Blinn’s nine-hit attack with a trio of base knocks. Ferraro and DeFury added two hits apiece.

On the mound, freshman starting pitcher Lucas Davenport earned his fifth win of the season. The right-hander worked five innings in which he allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk. 

“Davenport was really good today,” Hart said. “We didn’t play great defense for him, but he put us on his back, which he’s done all year. It’s always cool to see a guy overcome that stuff and perform well.”

In game two, Hart rested his regulars and deployed a lineup of reserves while also dipping into his bullpen early.

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(Pictured: Blinn sophomore pitcher Tyler Bogusz)

Despite the shakeup, the Bucs never wavered. They pounded out nine hits, including home runs for sophomore Kash Durkin and freshmen Lane Allen and Tavion Vaughns, while sophomore pitcher Tyler Bogusz earned his first win of the season with a three-inning relief stint.

Bogusz gave up an unearned run while holding Alvin hitless. He struck out four and walked one.

Durkin, Allen, and Vaughns each had two hits. Durkin finished with three RBIs, while Allen and sophomore Brayden Sprencel had two apiece.

Sophomore pitcher Brendan Sweeney started the game and tossed one inning before giving way to sophomore reliever Ben Bosse lasted two innings before Bogusz entered in the fourth, and freshman Cortt Gentry closed out the game with three scoreless frames.

“I was happy we had the opportunity to get those guys in the lineup and use some of those pitchers out of the bullpen because the likelihood that we’ll need most if not all of them in the postseason is high,” Hart added. “You want everybody to be ready when their number is called and today was an opportunity for them to stay fresh.”

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 47 NJCAA national championships since 1987. 

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