Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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Bolt's Bulldogs Best Blinn (Click for link to video)

BRENHAM- Blinn's run is done at the Region XIV baseball tournament.

The Buccaneers dropped an elimination game to Texarkana, 13-5, Tuesday afternoon at Leroy Dreyer Field.

Bulldog head coach Will Bolt, a former Texas A&M assistant, got a two-run homer from Joaquin Hinojosa in the top of the third inning.

The Dogs put up six runs in the fifth, three of those coming home on a
Jordy Snikeris dinger.

The Bucs struggled defensively in the seven-inning game, six of Texarkana's runs were unearned.

Blinn ends its year at 42-&-16.

San Jacinto pounded Texarkana, 15-3, in the second game of the day to claim the regional title.

Buccaneers’ run comes to a close -- San Jacinto beats Texarkana for tournament title

Brenham Banner

Sophomore shortstop Jonathan Ogden fields a ground ball during Blinn’s 13-5 loss to Texarkana Tuesday afternoon in the Region 14 Tournament semifinals. Ogden is going to Mississippi State University in the fall. Richard Bray/Reprints at
By RICHARD BRAY/Sports Editor
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
The Blinn Buccaneer baseball team won three consecutive elimination games to reach the semifinals of the Region 14 Tournament, but on Tuesday the club’s Junior College World Series dreams came to a close with a 13-5 loss to Texarkana.

Blinn, the second seed out of the South Zone, dropped its tournament opener to Navarro 11-3, but bounced back on Sunday and Monday with three consecutive victories, including a 6-4 victory over Navarro Monday night to advance into the semifinals.

But in Tuesday’s contest the Buccaneers were unable to get any traction as Texarkana pounced on every Blinn miscue on the afternoon.

Sophomore left-hander Zach Hardoin (10-2), who went undefeated during the regular season, suffered his second loss of the tournament on two days’ rest. After Blinn’s victory over Navarro on Monday night, Hardoin sought out Blinn (42-17) coach Harvey McIntyre for the opportunity to pitch against Texarkana, but the University of Missouri signee allowed six runs - three earned - in 4 1/3 innings.

Even though Texarkana managed just two hits against Hardoin, the southpaw walked five batters, and Texarkana’s first hit of the day was a two-run home run by Joaquin Hinojosa that gave Texarkana a 4-1 lead.

“When I got him off the mound I told him I appreciate his effort and his will to take the baseball for us,” McIntyre said. “He gave us a great effort.”

Jonathan Delgado entered the game with one out and two on in the fifth after Hardoin walked two batters and immediately ran into trouble as Thomas Watson hit an RBI single and Jordy Snikeras launched a three-run home run that gave Texarkana a 10-2 lead.

Blinn committed just one error in the game, but was plagued with fielding miscues throughout the day. A passed ball on a third strike in the third inning allowed a runner to reach base prior to Hinojosa’s home run, and on two other occasions Blinn outfielders allowed fly balls to fall in front of them after initially running toward the wall. In all, six of Texarkana’s 13 runs were unearned.

Center fielder Trey Johnson was a lone bright spot for the Buccaneers. Johnson hit an RBI single in the first inning to tie the score, then hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning. He had all four of Blinn’s RBIs in the game.

“I think it’s fitting that in Trey Johnson’s last at-bat for us he hit a three-run home run for us,” McIntyre said. “How else would you write that script? When we need a big knock he always seems to produce for us and he did it again today.”

John Stilson earned the win for Texarkana, throwing 5 2/3 innings. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits and four walks, striking out six. After Ty Moore got the final out of the sixth inning, Colton Reavis threw a perfect seventh inning to end the game - and Blinn’s season - via mercy rule.

San Jacinto, which won all four of its tournament games, defeated Texarkana 8-5 Tuesday night to win the tournament championship and advance to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

Blinn’s roster included 15 sophomores this season, including Jonathan Ogden, Zak Leonhardt, Trenton Irwin, Brian Smith, Brandon Finken, Johnson, Cameron Goff, Broc Haymon, Kendall Korbal, Hardoin, Michael Dixon, Phillip Butler, Eric Staha, Cody Morrison and Mario Eramo.

“This group accomplished so much,” McIntyre said. “Winning 42 baseball games is extremely impressive. Not just what they did from a statistical standpoint, they played hard and with energy. They were a lot of fun to be around, to coach and to watch.”

Blinn will be sending plenty of athletes on to four-year schools next season, including Eramo at Penn State, Hardoin at Missouri, Johnson and Ogden at Mississippi State, Korbal at Texas Christian University, Smith at Sam Houston State, Leonhardt at San Angelo State, Irwin at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Morrison at Texas A&M. McIntyre said he also expects Dixon to sign with a four-year program after the Bucs’ right-hander generated plenty of interest with his performance at the conference tournament.

“They have done the right thing from day one,” McIntyre said. “They’re a very unselfish, very committed group. They’re great players, but at the same time they’re just an outstanding group of young men.

“It’s a big group of kids we brought in and it’s a big group of kids we’re losing. They brought more sophomore leadership than any other group we’ve had. Hopefully our young kids can learn just by watching those guys, and they should because it’s a great group to follow up.”

Both Morrison and Johnson were named to the all-Region 14 team.

The Buccaneers will have to replace their starting first baseman, shortstop and outfielders, as well as the bulk of their starting pitchers next season.

“To me it’s trying to replace Trey Johnson, Cody Morrison, Mario Eramo and Zak Leonhardt in the lineup, and Ogden’s presence in the infield, but at the same time we’ve got a great group of freshmen who will step right in and do a great job for us next year as sophomores.”