LUFKIN, Texas – Blinn baseball coach Harvey McIntyre was well aware runs were going to be at a premium in the Buccaneers’ Region XIV Conference Tournament opener Saturday. So when the offense spotted the team three runs early on, McIntyre knew the Bucs stood a chance.
It was plenty of run support for starting pitcher Robbie Dickey and the Buccaneers went on to beat the Navarro Bulldogs 7-2 to advance to the tournament winners’ bracket. Blinn will play the winner between Alvin and Angelina at 5 p.m. here Sunday.
“The hardest game to get through is always Game 1,” McIntyre said. “Our guys played above and beyond in every phase.”
The offensive barrage started after Reed Robinson and Stephen Stuart blasted home runs in the top of the second to give Blinn a 3-0 go-ahead. Dickey took care of the rest, as the sophomore allowed one run—unearned—on one hit in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out eight batters.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach a lot of talented players through the years, but I haven’t had many like Robbie Dickey,” McIntyre said. “He was in total command today.”
The only issue Dickey ran into was allowing three straight one-out walks in the bottom of the fourth. He worked out of the jam unscathed with a strikeout and a groundout.
Of Blinn’s 12 hits, nine came from the bottom part of the lineup, including a 3-for-4 performance by No. 8 hitter James Duval. Jager Toffan, Caden Williams, Robinson and Stuart each had two-hit games.
The Bucs added to their lead with solo runs in four of the final five innings.
“Our offense did a great job of tacking on some runs after we built an early lead,” McIntyre said.
For more information on Blinn baseball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.