CARTHAGE, Texas – Blinn College head coach Harvey McIntyre planned on throwing starting pitcher Michael Vielma just two or three innings in Game 1 of the Buccaneers’ double-header against the Panola Ponies Tuesday night.
Instead, the left-hander went six innings, allowing just one earned run as he led the Buccaneers to the first of two victories on the day. Blinn defeated Panola 4-2 and 5-1 to improve to 22-17 on the season and 12-8 in the Region XIV Conference.
“I don’t know how many ground ball outs Vielma got, but he really executed that two-seam fastball away,” McIntyre said. “He was throwing so well I didn’t want to take him out.”
Vielma scattered five hits and a walk. All 18 outs he recorded came via his defense.
The Bucs took a 1-0 lead in the third inning after Nolan Brown hit a sacrifice fly to score Scott Jones, who led the inning off with a single.
Robert Garza brought home another run on a fourth-inning ground out, and in the fifth Kevin Santana pulled an RBI double into left field. Hayden Vesely made it 4-0 with an RBI ground ball later in the inning.
Jones finished the game 3-for-4 while Garza went 2-for-3. The Bucs finished with nine hits.
“Jones really had a good day and that got us going at the top of the order,” McIntyre said. “That’s why we had success today.”
J.C. Neighbors threw a scoreless seventh inning for the save.
Three Buccaneer pitchers combined to hold Panola in check in Game 2. Tyler Day threw the first four innings, allowing one earned run on six hits and a walk before Trent Rape came on to throw two scoreless innings. Kyle Mueller threw a scoreless seventh to put the game on ice.
Colin Kowal hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning to put the Buccaneers up early, but it was a four-run third inning that made the difference. Brown and Vesely each had RBI singles in the frame while Vielma hit an RBI double. Garza scored on a wild pitch.
“We had four or five at-bats in a row with guys in scoring position and we did a good job of bringing them around,” McIntyre said.
Six different Bucs had one hit apiece.
Blinn travels to Alvin Friday for a 2 p.m. contest against the Dolphins. The Bucs will come back home Saturday for a 1 p.m. double-header against Alvin and their second Turn Back the Clock Day, in which the Buccaneers wear replica jerseys modeled after those worn by the team during the 1920s and '30s. Proceeds from the event, which features old-time music and 25-cent hot dogs, will benefit Adam's Angels Ministry.
Adam's Angels Ministry is a non-profit organization founded by Donna and Tim Culliver of Brenham as a way to reach out to families that have been affected by childhood cancer. The Cullivers lost their 4-year-old son, Adam Christian Culliver, to acute myelogenous leukemia.
Blinn began hosting Turn Back the Clock Days in 2009 as a fundraiser for local charities. In previous years, the event has raised money for Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, the Brazos Valley Hospice and Washington County Little League.
All monetary donations and fund-raising proceeds raised from this year's event will allow Adam's Angels to assist families with living expenses, fuel costs, medical parking and meal vouchers. Individuals or companies wishing to donate directly to Adam's Angels Ministry can send checks to: P.O. Box 2573, Brenham, TX 77834-2573, or visit www.adamsangelsministry.org.
For more information on Blinn baseball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.