GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Behind aggressive baserunning and big bats, Miami Dade (Fla.) College handed the Blinn baseball team its first loss at the 2014 Alpine Bank JUCO World Series here Tuesday.
The Sharks put up seven runs in the first two innings en route to an 11-2 eight-inning victory over the Buccaneers. Now the Buccaneers head to the loser’s bracket and a date with Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist at 4 p.m. CST Thursday.
Blinn was coming off a 10-2 win over No. 1-ranked Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) Community College on Monday. The Bucs are 2-1 in the tournament and guaranteed at least a fifth-place finish.
“We’ve got to do a better job of making adjustments early on,” Blinn (36-27) baseball coach Harvey McIntyre said. “That is a solid ballclub and you can’t let those guys get on base like we did tonight.”
Miami Dade wasn’t shy when it came to running the bases. The Sharks (37-15) used their speed to turn singles into doubles, and triples into inside the park home runs.
By the time the Bucs found the scoreboard in the top of the second, the Sharks had already put up a five-spot in the bottom of the first, and Miami Dade quickly responded with a two-run second to make it a 7-1 game.
Sharks’ starting pitcher Marcus Barrios limited Blinn to two runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings.
“Credit their starting pitcher, he competed and did a great job and didn’t crack,” McIntyre said.
Sophomore Nolan Brown hit a solo home run in the top of the six to cut the Sharks’ lead to 8-2. Miami Dade ended the game with a two-run home run in bottom of the eight.