Bengals Take Victory into Postseason

BLYTHEWOOD (April 25, 2016) – With Blythewood having clinched second place in Region IV-4A, Monday’s regular season finale against Ridge View meant little more than a chance to get in some pitches and at-bats before the postseason.

The Bengals didn’t turn in the best hitting performance of the season, but some timely hits and base running, combined with a lights-out relief performance on the mound from Toby Robson, secured an 8-3 victory over the Blazers on Senior Night.

“Toby came in and pitched for us really well, but offensively we were just very sluggish,” Blythewood head coach Barry Mizzell said. “Their kid (Ridge View starting pitcher Daniel Zipple) mixed his pitches up really good and we were impatient. We didn’t have very much intensity, but we hung in there and got us a couple of hits and a couple of runs.”

No.2 seed Blythewood (15-9 overall, 8-2 region) will play host to Mauldin, the third-place Region II finisher, Thursday at 6 p.m. to start the double-elimination District II Tournament.

Ridge View (0-21, 0-10) opened the game with two straight hits, but Blythewood and starting pitcher Josh Cowan got out of the jam.

The Bengals got two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first, when Jacob Davis singled and later scored on a wild pitch, and Aiden Massey drew a walk and eventually scored on Todd Mattox’s one-out single. Robson struck out and Ryan Bland flied out to strand Mattox.

Ridge View got a run back in the top of the second to cut the Bengals’ lead to 2-1.

Blythewood got a run in the bottom of that frame to hold a 3-1 lead — but the Bengals could have gotten more. With two out, Zippel hit Jacob Davis, then walked Jordyn Adams and Massey to load the bases. Unfortunately, Mattox slapped a ground ball right back to Zipple, who threw to Miller at first for the third out.

“If we got a hit or two early, we could’ve blown the thing open,” Mizzell said. “But we kept them around. But you have to give him (Zipple) credit, he pitched pretty well. He had a little curve ball, a little change up, and he mixed them up, threw inside, and we weren’t aggressive, I don’t think.”

On the mound for Blythewood, Cowan got into trouble in the third and left after giving up back-to-back one-out singles to Nate Hinson and Zipple.

Robson took the mound and immediately gave up Cory Miller’s 2-run single that tied the game at 3. The right-hander hit Daniel Kern with a pitch, but after that miscue Robson was unhittable.

Robson got Elijah Clements to fly out, then he struck out Dogen Brantley to end the inning.

Blythewood moved across two runs on one hit and one error in the fourth and three runs on three hits in the sixth to secure the 8-3 lead.

Meanwhile, Robson struck out one in the fourth, and struck out the side in both the fifth and sixth innings. He finished the night with eight strikeouts in just 3 1/3 innings of work.

“He got his curve ball going for strikes, and when he gets his curve ball going, he’s pretty good,” Mizzell said. “He got us some quick innings, which is what we needed.”

Davis and Jordan Fleming each had two hits to lead the Bengals at the plate.


RV:         0012       000         0              –              3 6 2

BHS:       210         203         x              –              8 7 0

R: Daniel Zipple (L) and Nate Hinson. B: Josh Cowan, Toby Robson (3, W), Chase Ellis (7) and Ryan Bland. LOB – S 5. B 5.

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