For the past two seasons, local talent has been the name of the game for the eighth-ranked Blinn College baseball team, which currently features six local and recognizable faces on its JUCO World Series squad. 

Brenham High School graduates and sophomore pitchers Jake Kolkhorst and Ben Bosse have been key contributors for the Bucs. From Bellville, sophomore pitcher Cody Pfeffer and brothers Carson Peschel (a redshirt freshman) and Kyle Peschel (a former Blinn player turned Blinn assistant coach), have added some small-town flare to the blue and white. Not to be outdone, sophomore outfielder Brandon Bishop from A&M Consolidated High School out of College Station, Texas, spent four years traveling to Brenham and its surrounding areas for ballgames before becoming a crucial part to the Bucs’ run. 

The infusion of local talent has widened an already-large window of support for a Brenham community that cherishes both baseball and its local athletes. 

“Having that local presence is part of the lore of Blinn College,” Bucs head coach Dusty Hart said. “Being right there in the ‘Baseball capital of Texas,’ baseball in this area is known to be phenomenal, so to be able to pull from that pool of talent and bring guys in here who are not only talented but also respected and loved by the community, that’s huge for your program.” 

Jake Kolkhorst 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn’s Jake Kolkhorst pitches against Galveston College on April 19, 2024)

For Kolkhorst and Bosse, the two cousins have played integral roles during the Bucs’ 42-16 season which has seen them reach the NJCAA Division I Baseball World Series in back-to-back campaigns. Both pitchers are also following in the footsteps of their fathers: Jim Kolkhorst, who donned the Blinn blue and white in the 1980s, and Kevin Bosse, who was a member of the Bucs’ 1992 World Series squad. Ben Bosse’s great uncle, Wayne Bosse, also made it to the national tournament as a Buc in 1962.  

Jake Kolkhorst owns a 4-1 record in a relief role this spring to go with 43 strikeouts, four saves, and a 2.76 earned run average in 42 1/3 innings. Kolkhorst began his collegiate career at Texas Christian University but transferred to Blinn as a redshirt freshman ahead of the 2023 season. 

“After my senior year of high school, I thought I had played my last game in Brenham, but to get to come back and play in front of this community and see the people of Brenham rally around us is really special,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade these two years that I’ve been here for anything.” 

Ben Bosse 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn’s Ben Bosse pitches against San Jacinto College-North on May 19, 2024)

Bosse’s journey to Blinn mirrored Kolkhorst’s, as he played his freshman campaign at the University of Auburn before an injury put a pause on his NCAA Division I stint. Bosse is excelling in his lone season with the Bucs, sporting a 2-0 record, a 3.71 ERA, five saves, and 33 punchouts across 26 2/3 frames. After growing up on the stories of his father and grandfather about their respective trips to Grand Junction, Colo., Bosse said having his own JUCO road lead to the national stage is a dream come true. 

“I couldn’t have been more excited to come play here, and that excitement has been validated not only by the season we’ve had, but the support our community has shown our program and all of our players day after day,” Bosse said. “You hear the stories, you hear about the experiences and how special of a place the JUCO World Series is, you can only dream of getting a chance to be a part of something like that as a player. So, to actually get to experience that, I couldn’t be more blessed.” 

Pfeffer signed with Blinn out of Bellville, and the crafty left-hander has been a key bullpen piece during the Bucs’ two trips to the World Series. This season he has shined with a 3-2 record, a 3.63 ERA, one save, and 38 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. Pfeffer was teammates with the Peschel brothers and has now played alongside both during his two-year JUCO run. 

Cody Pfeffer 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn’s Cody Pfeffer pitches against Coastal Bend College on April 6, 2024)

“Having the Peschels and the other local guys here, and then seeing all of the fans here who have been watching you play since you were just a little kid … it’s like one big family,” Pfeffer said. “The players and people in this community are just great people who love the game of baseball, and you can’t ask to be a part of something better than that.” 

Kyle Peschel played two seasons at Blinn and took on a vital role as the team’s bullpen catcher during the Bucs’ run to Grand Junction last year. He graduated from Blinn in 2023 and has returned as a volunteer assistant this season.  

Carson Peschel, the younger of the two brothers, began his Blinn run as a redshirt before playing in a reserve role this spring. The outfielder from smalltown Texas has shown some pop with a double and a near-miss on a potential grand slam during the Bucs’ run to the Region XIV South Regional Tournament title. 

“No matter what your situation is on this team, it always feels like there is just so much support from the community, the fans, and the guys around you,” Peschel said. “Especially from Kyle and the guys here who grew up playing in this area. These local guys are people who you can rely on because they understand what it’s like to play ball in this area and what the expectations are like. You always have somebody to lean on when things get tough. You can’t really put in words how special that is.” 

Much like Kolkhorst and Bosse, Bishop made his way into the collegiate baseball world via a Division I opportunity at Texas A&M. However, when his path forked toward Brenham, the speedy center field took advantage of the chance to make an impact in a town he is all too familiar with. He was a key piece to Blinn’s offensive puzzle in 2023 and continues to have a strong presence both on offense and defense this season. 

Brandon Bishop 2023-24
(Pictured: Blinn’s Brandon Bishop races toward home plate during a game against Wharton County Junior College on April 27, 2024)

“Having played at A&M Consolidated, we played Brenham High School all the time, and you learned pretty quickly how special baseball was to this community,” Bishop said. “I don’t know how you could turn down the chance to play baseball here for two more years. Playing with some of the same guys I grew up playing with, and playing in front of a lot of the same fans who love baseball, who love Blinn College, that’s special as a player.” 

Bishop is hitting .281 with 12 doubles, one triple, one home run, 54 runs scored, 35 runs batted in, and 24 stolen bases in 24 attempts. 

All in all, Hart said the privilege Blinn has had year after year to showcase local ballplayers to a community that so eagerly embraces them has only intensified those players’ will to compete and succeed. 

“Having those guys is so great for the pride of our program and the pride of our community,” Hart added. “It’s sort of a full-circle situation, too, because when the fans show up, those players want to play hard, and when the players play hard and do well, the fans want to show up. That’s the sort of culture the game baseball has created in Brenham and our local players are a huge part of keeping that culture alive.” 

Hart leads the Buccaneers into a first-round World Series matchup against Crowder College at 11 a.m. Central Time Sunday at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction. 

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

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