05 Feb Navarro erupts for 8 in the 8th and rallies past Blinn
The outlook appeared bleak for Bulldog baseball. They had managed to scrape out two runs and 4 hits against eight pitchers in their last 16 innings of play….until the eighth inning Tuesday.
Their scoreless-inning streak had reached 11, and it appeared they were headed to a second straight loss here and a breakeven start to their season…until the eighth inning Tuesday.
Trailing 5-0 to a Blinn club making its season debut, the Bulldogs pieced together a momentum-turning, game-changing rally to stun the Buccaneers, 8-5.
Navarro, muzzled on just two singles, paraded 14 hitters to the plate against three Blinn pitchers in the eighth and put together an eight-run rally — the largest of this young season. The Bulldogs parlayed five hits with four walks and took advantage of shortstop Cameron Gibbons’ error to pull off the comeback.
NC batted around and pulled within 5-4 before Blinn could record an out. Second baseman’s Travis Washburn two-run single broke the shutout. Clean-up hitting DH Stacey Bailey pounded a bases loaded double to centerfield that scored two more and lifted Navarro within 5-4.
Blinn elected to replace lefthanded reliever Brice Armistead, who allowed the first six batters to reach safely. Jace Hutchins entered and issued catcher Dawson Woods a walk to load the bases. Third baseman Cash Rugely laced Hutchins’ 2-0 pitch to right field for a double that plated Kyle Landers and Bailey and gave Navarro its first lead (6-5). Consecutive bases-loaded walks to centerfielder Riley Lambert and shortstop Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo tacked on Navarro’s final runs.
Navarro’s only hits through seven innings were well-spaced singles — by Washburn, with one-out in the first, and by Lambert with two out in the fifth.
Blinn’s leadoff-hitting leftfielder Reggie McCalister doubled and scored the game’s first run in the third. He also slugged an 0-1 Collin Storms offering to rightfield for a two-out, solo homer in the eighth and accounted for the final run.
The Bucs increased their 1-0 lead in the fifth by scoring three runs. Two runs crossed after consecutive batters were hit by pitches with the bases loaded.
Navarro (3-1) competes in the three-day Tournament of Champions at Houston. The Bulldogs face Odessa at 3 pm Friday; Howard, at noon Saturday, and on Sunday, they will play Laredo at noon and Baton Rouge at 3 pm. All Tournament of Champions game will be broadcast by TSRN Sports.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Blinn 001 030 01 0 – 5-8-0 (LOB 10)
Navarro 000 000 08 X – 8-7-1 (LOB 7)
W: Storms. L: Hutchins. S: P. Jones.
BC — RH Jacob Millender; John Chomko (5); Brice Armistead (8); Jace Hutchins (8), Grayson Smith (8).
NC — RH Austin Faith; Brady Mehl (4); Trent Padron (5); Trey Becerra (7); Collin Storms (8); Pepper Jones (9).