Bryson Dudley told his head coach he didn’t want to go home.

Then he went out and proved it.

The sophomore pitcher tossed 4 2/3 incredible innings in relief, and the No. 8 Blinn College baseball team powered past No. 2 Georgia Highlands College 15-10 in the JUCO World Series semifinal round Friday at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colo.

Buccaneers skipper Dusty Hart will now lead his team into the program’s first appearance in the NJCAA Division I Baseball championship game, where it will face fourth-ranked Northwest Florida State College at 8 p.m. (Central) on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN Plus, while a radio presentation will be available at

Although Blinn (46-17) was again the beneficiary of its stout offense, it was a herculean effort from Dudley that almost certainly paved the way to Saturday’s title tilt.

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(Pictured: Blinn’s Bryson Dudley delivers a pitch against Georgia Highlands College on May 31, 2024)

Two days after giving up six earned runs on 63 pitches in a 15-14 loss to the Chargers, Dudley returned to the mound with short-term memory loss. He shut down Georgia Highlands on 75 pitches, allowing only a harmless solo home run as part of a two-hit outing. He struck out seven Chargers and didn’t issue a walk while regularly serving up a mid-90s fastball.

“I was just ready to go; I was amped. I wanted another chance at (Georgia Highlands) and I was ready to step up,” Dudley said. “Since the beginning of this season, it’s been all about pounding the strike zone, and that’s what I tried to do tonight. I pounded the zone, got outs, and let my defense work behind me.”

The Buccaneer defense also shined once again, including a game-ending catch at the right-field wall for sophomore outfield Tanner Reaves, and a see-it-to-believe-it no-look grab on a grounder for sophomore shortstop Tony Vernars.

Sophomore pitcher Brendan Sweeney started for Blinn and worked 4 1/3 frames. On just three days’ rest, the right-hander labored through a gutsy start before giving way to Dudley with his team leading 11-9.

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(Pictured: Blinn’s Tanner Reaves slides into third base for a triple during a game against Georgia Highlands College on May 31, 2024)

Blinn got the scoring started in the top of the first frame when Reaves opened the game with a triple. One out later, freshman Caden Ferraro singled him home for a 1-0 lead.

Georgia Highlands rallied in the second inning, scoring four runs for its only lead of the ballgame.

Blinn answered with eighth runs in the third to regain control for good. After Reaves again led off with a base hit, sophomore Cade Climie followed with a home run to center field. Ferraro then followed with a solo shot to right-center to tie the game. It was the World Series-leading fifth home run for both Climie and Ferraro, who also went back-to-back during Blinn’s victory over Florence-Darlington Technical College on Thursday.

“I have all the faith in the world in this offense,” Reaves said. “We hit; I think that’s what we’re known for. It’s been pretty unreal how many runs we’ve scored in five games, but I can’t say I’m surprised.”

The Chargers cut into Blinn’s lead with a run in the fifth, and answered the Bucs’ fifth-inning two spot with four runs in their half of the frame.

From there, Dudley took the ball and dominated. He struck out the final two hitters in the fifth and fanned the side in the sixth.

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(Pictured: Blinn’s Cade Climie connects for a home run during a game against Georgia Highlands College on May 31, 2024)

The Bucs added three insurance runs in the sixth and one more in the eighth before Georgia Highlands got its only run off Dudley in the bottom of the eighth.

Blinn finished with 18 hits, led by a pair of four-hit performances for Reaves and Climie. Climie plated a team-high four RBIs. Ferraro, Vernars, and sophomores Connor McGinnis and Coy DeFury had two hits apiece. Reaves, Ferraro, and McGinnis each had two RBIs.

“This team is absolutely relentless, and we just fight until the end no matter what,” Dudley added. “Our defense has been amazing, our hitting has been amazing … it has just been awesome to play for this team.”

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

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