The only thing Dusty Hart likes more than watching his team win a baseball game is watching them prevail under tough circumstances.

On the road with hard winds blowing out for a Region XIV South series opener against Alvin Community College, Blinn College turned some tough offensive luck and a pair of impressive pitching performances into a 6-2 win Wednesday in Alvin, Texas.

“Any time you get to start off a road series with a win, you’ll take that any day,” said Hart, who is in second season as head coach of the Buccaneers. “It wasn’t the prettiest win; we hit some balls really hard right at guys with runners on base and we never really took advantage of the wind. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall for you, but we didn’t let that affect us.”

Instead of pressing the panic button, Blinn (19-12, 11-4 South) chose perseverance and did so with the help of some small ball. 

Each of the Bucs’ seven hits were singles; they walked 12 times; two batters were hit with pitches; two other hitters drove in runs on sacrifice fly outs; and Blinn even found room to squeeze a sacrifice bunt into its workmanlike attack.

“Sometimes the situation or the environment calls for small ball, and our guys made things happen today in different ways,” Hart added.

Marshall Lipsey Headshot Horizontal 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn sophomore Marshall Lipsey)

Freshman Caden Ferraro had two hits and two RBIs; sophomore Marshall Lipsey drove in a pair of runs; and sophomores Cade Climie and Tony Vernars also knocked in one run apiece. Sophomore Connor McGinnis had a three-hit day.

Blinn scored two runs in the top of the first inning, pushed its lead to 4-0 in the third, and led 4-2 before scoring single tallies in the seventh and eighth innings. Lipsey was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the third to make it a 3-0 ballgame with what proved to be the game-winning run. 

Ferraro pulled double duty as the Bucs’ starting pitcher and took advantage of the pitcher-friendly conditions. He improved to 3-1 this season behind five strong innings. He allowed two earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. 

Sophomore Jake Kolkhorst converted his first save opportunity of the year with four innings of scoreless ball. He allowed three hits and a walk but struck out five Dolphins. 

Caden Ferraro Horizontal 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn freshman Caden Ferraro)

“We had an outstanding pitching performance on the day from both guys,” Hart said. “Giving up two earned runs on the road with the wind blowing out is huge. Caden controlled Alvin’s at bats and controlled the moment, and then we handed the ball off to Jake and didn’t have to worry about anything from there. It’s big for your team when you can rely on guys to throw strikes, get outs, and finish a game for you.”

The series between the Bucs and Dolphins wraps up with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 29, at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 45 NJCAA national championships since 1987.

Floating Vimeo Video