Blythewood Makes Short Work of Yellow Jackets

Blythewood’s Ricky Kernan takes a lead off first.

The Blythewood Bengals baseball team (4-1) was back on the diamond Tuesday when they played at Irmo (1-6). It was the first true road game for the Bengals this season and it took only six innings for the run rule to come into effect, giving Blythewood a 10-0 victory. Irmo has now allowed 62 runs in six games and are on a four-game losing skid. For Blythewood, they are starting to catch fire in the midst of a five-game winning streak after losing their season opener and starting the season ranked second in the state in the SCBCA pre-season poll.

“I thought we played well overall,” Bengals head coach Barry Mizzell said. “We pitched extremely well and we had some good at-bats.”

Blythewood starter Andrew Beckwith pitched a gem, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out seven batters. Beckwith had a no hitter going into the bottom of the sixth inning but it was broken up by a leadoff bunt from Irmo’s second baseman Andrew Peterson. Beckwith was nearly unhittable, keeping the Yellow Jackets off balance the entire night. He effectively used his fastball, curveball and slider from either a sidearm or over-the-top delivery. Mizzell knows his team’s confidence is high when Beckwith is on the mound.

“Andrew is tough on opposing batters,” Mizzell said. “Not everyone can throw from those angles and he is a competitor and always gives us a chance to win.”

Beckwith not only kept Irmo in the dark with his delivery, but was also able to bear down on the Yellow Jacket hitters with his quick pace. It was a tempo that not only frustrated the Irmo batters but also kept the Blythewood defense sharp.

“He is an up-tempo guy,” Mizzell said. “It helps keep our defense on its toes and they play well behind him.”

Beckwith pounded the strike zone and finished the game throwing just 62 pitches with only 12 of those going out of the zone. In four of his six innings worked Beckwith faced only three batters and never faced more than five. Irmo’s starting pitcher Nick Paschall did not have near the night Beckwith had. Bengal hitters ran Paschall out of the game in the fourth inning. Paschall allowed five runs on nine hits. Blythewood started the scoring off early when Beckwith scored off a one-out double by first baseman Tyler Romanik. Romanik reached base on all four of his plate appearances and recorded three hits, two runs and two runs batted in. Paschall threw just 17 pitches and allowed just one run through the first two innings. But the Bengal hitters would force Pashcall to throw 47 pitches through the next two innings and Blythewood scored five runs in two-out situations.

“When you get two-out hits, that’s always a plus,” Mizzell said. “And when you get runs of them it’s even better.”

Irmo’s Alex Quillen came on in relief when Pashcall was pulled from the game; however, Quillen didn’t fare much better as he allowed five runs on four hits. As a team, Blythewood scored their 10 runs off of 13 hits. The Bengals played at Sumter yesterday (March 14) and are back at home today (March 15) when the Demons of Lugoff-Elgin come into town. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

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