A Region XIV South Regional championship was not in the cards for the No. 9 Blinn College baseball team Saturday.

The good news is the Buccaneers have one more hand to play.

Blinn’s 7-3 loss to Galveston College in the championship round of the regional tournament extended the postseason competition one more day and set up a winner-take-all ballgame scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham, Texas. The Bucs and Whitecaps will battle it out for the third time in the tournament, only this time, the winner will advance to the Region XIV Super Regional series.

Blinn was undefeated heading into Saturday’s matchup, while Galveston was facing elimination after losing to the Bucs on Friday. The Whitecaps defeated Tyler Junior College in an elimination game earlier Saturday to set up the rematch with Blinn.

The Bucs were unable to find any momentum against Galveston, wasting three first-inning singles while going scoreless in the frame before the Whitecaps seized a 1-0 lead in the second.

It was all Galveston until the bottom of the fifth as the Whitecaps built a 7-0 cushion.

Blinn was hindered by two defensive errors, five free passes issued by its pitching staff, and nine strikeouts at the plate.

“That was just bad baseball on our end tonight,” Bucs head coach Dusty Hart said. “You have to play the game the right way if you want to win. Baseball doesn’t care if it’s opening day or if it’s the postseason. The game doesn’t know it’s the regional championship game and doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done in the past. There are certain things you have to do to be successful in baseball and Galveston did more of them tonight than we did.”

Blinn scored once in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from freshman Ethan Gonzalez and tallied two more in the eighth on an RBI double from sophomore Connor McGinnis and a wild pitch that allowed sophomore Brayden Sprencel to cross the plate. 

McGinnis and sophomore Tanner Reaves each had two of the Bucs’ seven hits.

Tyler Bogusz 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn sophomore pitcher Tyler Bogusz fires a pitch against Galveston on May 11, 2024)

Blinn freshman pitcher Caden Marcum was charged with the loss after allowing three earned runs on one hit and five walks in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two. Sophomore reliever Cody Pffefer was touched up for four runs (two earned) in 3 2/3 frames on the mound before sophomore Tyler Bogusz hurled three hitless innings with two strikeouts to close out the night.

Blinn now turns its attention to Sunday as it looks to capture its second consecutive South Regional title.

“We’re going to find out what we’re made of,” Hart said. “That’s the beautiful thing about baseball … it tests you and pretty much always comes down to who is going to show up and play the hardest. This isn’t the first game we’ve lost this season; we’ve faced plenty of trials and tribulations. I fully expect this team to turn it around and play well.”

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

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