The victory pushed the Buccaneers to 24-7 overall and 12-3 in the South Zone and also increased the team’s winning streak to six games.
“It was a really good game; it was well-played on both sides and well-pitched on both sides,” Blinn head coach Dusty Hart said. “We knew it would be a tough game going into it with the wind blowing in, but we minimized our mistakes and took advantage of our opportunities.”
Blinn’s biggest opportunity of the game came in the top of the ninth inning with the bases loaded. Clinging to a 3-1 lead, freshman Kash Durkin stepped to the plate with one out and slapped a 1-2 offering down the first base line for a bases clearing double which gave the Bucs sufficient breathing room.
“He had a really good at bat,” Hart said of Durkin’s plate appearance. “I’m really glad he got a hit there because he had a seven- or eight-pitch at bat and just stayed in there and battled. That was the theme of the night: We got big hits when we needed them.”
Blinn opened the scoring in the first when sophomore Ian Collier reached on an error that scored freshman Tanner Reaves, who singled one at bat earlier. In the top of the second, sophomore Ryan Scott hit a solo home run to right field.
The Whitecaps tallied a run in the home half of the second. Blinn made it 3-2 on a Reaves sacrifice fly in the eighth, which scored freshman Luke Smith.
The Bucs finished with 11 hits, including two apiece for Scott, Smith, and freshman Brandon Bishop.
On the mound, freshman Blane Zeplin tossed six innings of four-hit ball. He allowed an earned run with two walks and two strikeouts.
“That was one of his better outings,” Hart said. “He commanded the strike zone and really made some big pitches. He had some hairy spots but was able to make the pitches he needed to get us back into the dugout.”
Freshman reliever Cody Pfeffer worked three frames and struck out five while allowing two hits and two walks. Pfeffer kept Blinn’s lead intact in the eighth when he escaped a two-out jam with runners on first and second. He fanned Galveston’s Ken Hemmer to escape the frame.
Pfeffer later induced a game-ending double play in the ninth.
The series between Blinn and Galveston continues when the two teams meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at Leroy Dreyer Field in Brenham, Texas.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.