The Coyotes earned an 8-1 victory in new Blinn head coach Dusty Hart’s debut.

“We got beat in every phase of the game today,” Hart said. “We didn’t execute pitches in big moments and when we had opportunities at the plate, we didn’t cash in. The good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up.”

Sophomore pitcher Sam Crain pitched well, allowing just two earned runs on six hits in four innings of work, but absorbed the loss for Blinn. Crain struck out six and walked two.

The Buccaneer bullpen struggled following Crain’s exit, as three relievers surrendered six runs (three earned) across the final five frames.

Blinn finished with five hits and scored its only run when freshman infielder Tanner Reaves singled in fellow freshman Brandon Bishop with two outs in the eighth inning.

The Bucs otherwise fell short with runners on base, coming up empty with the bases loaded in the third inning and again with men on second and third in the home half of the fourth.

 “If we get one hit in those situations, we’re in the ballgame,” added Hart. “The difference in the ball game was that their bullpen came in and pitched well.”

Weatherford opened the scoring on a two-out, two-run homer run in the top of the first, but Crain buckled down to toss three scoreless frames to finish his outing. The Coyotes went on to tally three more in the fifth, one in the sixth, and a pair in the seventh.

The Bucs will host Weatherford for a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday at Leroy Dreyer Field.

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