Raiders Eliminate Bengals as BHS Rally Falls Short

Aidan Massey takes a hack at a sinking fastball. (Photo/Melissa Cooper)

Aidan Massey takes a hack at a sinking fastball. (Photo/Melissa Cooper)

BLYTHEWOOD – From the first pitch Monday night, it was the Greenville baseball team’s game to lose.

Blythewood kept putting runners on base after the Raiders’ Justin Daly parked the first pitch of the game over the left field fence, but couldn’t get any runs across until the bottom of the seventh.

Then, the Bengals rallied for two runs to cut into a 3-0 deficit, but fell short in Greenville’s 3-2 victory in the loser’s bracket of the 4A District III Tournament. The Bengals fell to Greenville 2-0 in the tourney opener last Thursday, then bounced back to eliminate Riverside Saturday, 6-0.

“We were in a position where we just needed to get one more run with one out,” Blythewood head coach Barry Mizzell said. “That’s baseball. It’s a tough game sometimes, but I was proud of the kids fighting all the way to the end.”

The Bengals finish the season 17-9.

The Raiders (16-9) move on to play at Rock Hill Wednesday. Greenville has to beat the Bearcats twice to move into the state championship tournament.

Hitting was not a problem for the Bengals. Blythewood peppered 11 of them on the night, with Tyler Romanik, Aidan Massey and Tripper Ergle collecting two hits apiece. Romanik and Ergle also doubled.

Jordan Adams and Massey singled with two out, but were stranded when Justin Lang-Spittler struck out.

In the second inning, Jacob Davis drew a walk and Ergle singled to put two runners on with one out for the Bengals. Justin Greider and Andrew Crook ended that inning on back-to-back pop flies.

Massey and Lang-Spittler got on board on straight 2-out singles in the third inning, but Barrette Grant hit into a fielder’s choice to close out the frame.

Blythewood stranded a runner in the fourth and fifth innings as well.

Greenville picked up some insurance runs in the top of the fifth.

“We had a lot of hits with two outs and nobody on,” Mizzell said. “We got some guys on base but couldn’t get a big hit when we needed it.”

With Hunter Lomas on the mound in relief of starter Justin Greider, Jared Firmstone slapped a 2-out RBI single with two men on that scored Chayce Torres. Lucas Coan then hit an infield grounder that scored Ben Peden when Ergle at third couldn’t get a handle on the ball.

Lomas got Carson Spiers to line out to Grant at second base, but Greenville’s 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth seemed insurmountable.

Indeed, the Raiders’ pitching and defense kept the Bengals scoreless, if it couldn’t stop their hitting, until the seventh inning.

“Our defense was what allowed us to win that ballgame,” Galinski said. “We had some huge plays. Blythewood always gets runners into scoring position. When you hold a team like that that’s well-coached, that’s what you have to do to win.”

Blythewood made good on its last chance to score in the game. The Bengals got three straight hits to start the inning, as Andrew Crook and Romanik singled, and Adams drove in Crook with a double.

Romanik then scored when Massey grounded out to make it 3-2.

With just one out and Adams representing the tying run at third, Blythewood had a chance to keep the game going a little longer.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, Lang-Spittler and Grant both grounded out to close the game out and send Greenville to Rock Hill.

“That’s what I thought we’d do,” Mizzell said. “They got out there and got a bunch of hits and we went down fighting. We got ourselves in a position where we really needed a hit to tie it, but we couldn’t get the ball out of the infield.”

Greider worked four plus innings, giving up the home run, but only giving up two hits in the second through fourth innings. He walked Torres to start the fifth, before Lomas came on.

Lomas finished the night on the mound, giving up two runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked one.

Blythewood’s season may be in the books, but Mizzell said it was a good run.

“With the injuries we had, it was a very successful season,” Mizzell said. “We lost three of our best players for a long period of time, two for the year, but the kids kept battling and playing hard and were very successful.”

 

GHS: 1-0-0 0-2-0 0 – 3-7-0

BHS: 0-0-0 0-0-0 2 – 2-11-0

 

B: Justin Greider (L), Hunter Lomas (5), and Andrew Crook. G: Lucas Coan (W), Mike McNamara (4), Fletcher Mazzola (7) and Jared Firmstone. 2B: G – Justin Daly, Noah Smith. B – Tripper Ergle, Tyler Rominik. HR: G – Daly. LOB – G 8, B 9.

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