The Buccaneers earned a rain-drenched 12-2, six-inning victory in the opener before falling to the Coyotes, 4-3, in the nine-inning finale.

Blinn is now 1-2 following an 8-1 loss to Weatherford on Friday, but first-year head coach Dusty Hart said he was proud of his team for responding the way it did less than 24 hours later.

“We challenged the team Friday night after the loss, and we wanted to see them show up today and show what they’re made of,” Hart said. “They showed up and showed some fight, and I 100% thought we responded the right way.”

In the first game of the twin bill, Blinn pounded out 14 hits, including four home runs. 

Weatherford led 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth frame, but a solo home run from freshman Tanner Reaves pulled the Bucs even. Freshman Coy DeFury later singled and scored on a wild pitch to push Blinn ahead for good.

The Bucs broke the game open with seven runs in the fifth inning, which featured a solo leadoff homer from sophomore Ryan Scott. DeFury added an RBI double in the inning, freshman Tony Vernars drove in a run with a single, freshman Brandon Bishop hit a sacrifice fly, Scott smacked a two-run single, and sophomore Ian Collier added an RBI single to make it 10-2.

Freshman Kash Durkin blasted a leadoff home run to open the sixth frame before Bishop singled to score DeFury, who was hit by a pitch following Durkin’s longball.

Blinn opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when freshman Marshall Lipsey homered with one out for a 1-0 lead. 

Freshman pitcher Kaden Dydalewicz tossed four innings in which he allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits. He struck out five and walked two.

“It was overall a good day,” Dydalweicz said. “Our offense put balls into play and the defense played well behind me. I was happy to see how we responded. The day-to-day transformation was great to see, and if we can continue to click like this, I’m excited to see how we’re playing in a couple of months.”

(Pictured: Blinn College freshman pitcher Kaden Dydalewicz delivers a pitch during a game against Weatherford College on Jan. 28)

Freshman Hunter Bond pitched two innings of relief for the Bucs.

In the series finale, Blinn climbed out of a 3-0 deficit with single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but the Coyotes pushed the go-ahead run across in the top of the ninth to earn the win.

Bishop’s two-out RBI single scored freshman Luke Smith in the sixth to tie the game at 3-all. Reaves scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, and Durkin crossed the plate on freshman Matt Whitting‘s RBI single in the fourth.

Freshman pitcher Bryson Dudley started for Blinn and allowed two earned runs on one hit and four walks in one inning of work. Sophomore Tate Bethel relieved Dudley and tossed five sparkling innings in which he allowed one earned run on two hits with four punchouts and a walk. Freshman Cody Pfeffer was charged with the loss in relief. He worked three innings of three-hit ball. He struck out four. The run charged to Pfeffer was unearned.

“It was a rough finish to the series, but I know that this team will respond when things get tough, so that’s a good sign,” Gart added. “It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when you get beat, but we showed heart and fight today. They won’t stay down, and hopefully we learn from the mistakes we made.”

Blinn is scheduled to hit the road for a doubleheader against Temple College beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Temple, Texas.

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.

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