A tide-turning offensive outburst sent the Blinn College baseball team to an 18-9 Region XIV South road win over San Jacinto College-North on Thursday in Houston. 

The seven-inning come-from-behind victory, which saw the Buccaneers score 15 runs in the final three innings of play to overcome an early five-run deficit. 

Blinn won its ninth consecutive game and improved to 26-12 and 18-4 in the South. The victory also broke up a tie between the Bucs and Ravens for first place in the South, where Blinn now sits alone.

“Just an amazing job by our guys today,” Bucs head coach Dusty Hart said. “They stayed in the game mentally, even when we faced some adversity. The resiliency they showed is what really makes you proud as a coach more than anything else. We had a lot of opportunities to feel sorry for ourselves because San Jacinto came ready to play and punched us in the mouth. But instead of letting them knock us out, we fought back.”

Blinn struck first with a three-run first inning, made possible by a three-run home run from freshman Caden Ferraro, but San Jacinto-North fired back with a single tally in the first and seven more in the second.

The score remained 8-3 until Blinn went into rally mode in the sixth.

Ferraro smacked a two-run double to bring the Bucs within three before sophomore Coy DeFury blasted a grand slam to right field.

Blinn added to its lead in the sixth with an RBI double from sophomore Cade Climie, an RBI single from sophomore Tony Vernars, a passed ball, and a wild three-run inside-the-park homer from freshman Lane Allen.

Sophomores Tanner Reaves and Brandon Bishop hit an RBI single and a two-run double in the seventh, respectively, to cap Blinn’s offense.

Ferraro had three hits and five RBI to pace the Bucs’ 15-hit attack. Sophomore Connor McGinnis had three hits, and Climie, Reaves, and DeFury had two apiece.

“Confidence. It all comes down to confidence,” Hart said. “We always knew what we were capable of offensively, it was just a matter of the guys believing it. I think we are now.”

On the mound, sophomore pitcher Cody Pfeffer earned the win with 4 2/3 innings of relief. The left allowed one earned run on three hits with five strikeouts. Sophomore Shane Connell started for the Bucs and settled for a no-decision. Sophomore Jake Kolkhorst got two outs in the third inning and one in the third before making way for Pfeffer.

“We really bounced back after a couple of rough innings on the mound,” Hart said. “We didn’t pitch poorly; it was just a couple of errors and some good hitting by San Jacinto that led to their big inning. They are a good team, and we were tied for first place for a reason. On days like today, you just have to out-score the other team and that’s what we did.”

Blinn and San Jacinto-North conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham, Texas.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 45 NJCAA national championships since 1987. 

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