Fort Mill Ends Bengals’ Run

Dwight Stokes goes into home head-first in the first against Fort Mill last week. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

FORT MILL – The Blythewood Bengals bid to repeat as upper state champions in the Class 4A state tournament ended last week as they fell 7-3 to the Yellow Jackets of Fort Mill on May 7.

Fort Mill cobbled together nine hits against the Bengals, while Clay Helvey did his duty on the mound.

The Bengals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Drew Ellis singled in Dwight Stokes, the courtesy runner for Blythewood backstop Andrew Crook, who earned his way aboard with a single. The Jackets made that lead a short-lived one, and in the bottom of the second they took a lead that they would hold for the remainder of the contest.

Bret Netzer delivered a bases-loaded double with no outs off Blythewood starter Toby Robson to sweep the bags clean and give Fort Mill a 3-1 advantage. Jackson Massey led off the frame by taking one for the team. Mason Jordan followed with a single, and both runners moved up on a passed ball. Helvey then drew a free pass to set the table for Netzer.

Control was an issue for the Bengal hurlers, and in the third a pair of Fort Mill singles came around to score on successive passed balls. The 3-run inning extended the Fort Mill lead to 6-1.

The Bengals put together a minor rally in the fourth, chasing Helvey from the mound with runners on first and second. Garret Leonard came on in relief allowing one run on a wild pitch and another off a sacrifice fly by Chandler Henderson.

The Jackets got one of those runs back in the bottom half when Netzer dinged a solo round-tripper. Robson allowed two more base runners in the inning before being pulled for Tripper Ergle who worked out of the jam. But the damage was done. The Bengals managed one base runner in the top of the seventh, but Fort Mill’s Nick Matchunis came on to induce a double play and then wind things up with a soft pop fly.

BHS – 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 4 0

FMH – 0 3 3 1 0 0 x 7 9 1

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