Bengals Take Tourney Title

Blythewood’s Aaron Dahm swipes third in Saturday’s 7-5 win over West Ashley. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Sights Set on 2014 Run

LEXINGTON – The Blythewood Bengals are rolling into the 2014 season in the same form they ended their 2013 campaign: sheer domination.

After falling to an all too familiar foe in Lexington High School in the first round of the Red Bank Invitational tournament by the score of 4-2, the Bengals strung together a slate of wins that took them to the championship game, where they handily defeated a fellow metro area squad in Dutch Fork High School by the score of 14-6.

The tournament crown sets the Bengals up for another limitless season, potentially similar to last year’s 27-7 overall record that included a Region IV-4A pennant and an Upper State Championship.

While the Bengals are looking for a repeat of last season’s successes, the squad itself is chock full of new faces, which means more opportunities to rise to the occasion.

The team is returning only three regular starters in Tyler Romanik, Aaron Dahm and Connor Grant.

Romanik was last year’s team slugger, leading the Bengals with an impressive .415 batting average and 29 RBI.

If their recent tournament performance is any indication, the Bengals are certainly primed for the challenge.

Jacob Davis is the only returning pitcher with significant game experience, turning in a 1.83 ERA in just over 34 innings last season.

Along with Davis, outfield specialist Ryan Malone is the other semi-seasoned Bengal. In 46 at bats last season Malone hit .239 on average.

But as the first place finishers of the RBI tournament, the Bengals have proven they have the ability to replace talent with more talent.

Andrew Crook, Drew Ellis and Toby Robson were selected to the All-Tournament Team. Ellis was voted the overall tournament MVP.

The Bengals now begin their regular season gauntlet, with games against Sumter and White Knoll this week followed by a chance to seek redemption again against Lexington when the Bengals host last year’s state champions on Saturday. The first pitch is set for 12 p.m.

Be sure to come out to the ballpark and cheer on the Bengals as they look to right last year’s wrong against Lexington and show the entire state why you don’t mess with the Bengals!

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