Greider, Defense Gets Bengals Through Round 1

BLYTHEWOOD – Almost instantly, Justin Greider got into a jam. Just as easily, he and his Blythewood infield got out of it.

The Bengals defense set the tone Thursday in the first round of the District II Tournament. They kept Greider on the mound and out of trouble as second-seeded Blythewood went on to a 5-0 shutout of No.3 Mauldin at Blythewood Stadium.

“We hung in there and did the best we could do,” Blythewood head coach Barry Mizzell said. “Justin didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled his butt off. That’s the type of kid he is; he’s a tough kid.”

Greider (5-1) scattered six hits and struck out five. He walked two and hit three. He didn’t have his best stuff, but with an infield that turned two double plays and locked down the base paths, he didn’t need it.

“I’m thankful for the defense,” Greider said. “They (Mauldin) hit the ball hard, but on the ground. We made good plays in the middle. You’ve got to locate the fastball. My curveball wasn’t that great, but my fastball I located in and out. I didn’t really throw a changeup, but that was about it.”

The Bengals (15-8) hit the road Saturday to face Easley. The top-seeded Green Wave got past No. 4 Nation Ford 5-4 Thursday. Mauldin (15-10) will play host to Nation Ford in the losers bracket game Saturday.

After closing out the top of the first with a 6-4-3 double play, Blythewood jumped out to a 3-0 lead on only one hit, Aiden Massey’s bunt single.

Tyler Kissinger hit leadoff batter Jacob Davis and walked Jordyn Adams. Massey’s bunt got past Kissinger and died out beyond the pitcher’s mound on the third base side to load the bases.

Tyler Mattox hit a ground ball to Chris Metcalf at third base. Metcalf fired to catcher Hayden Yown to get the force out on Davis at the plate. Yown then threw to Clayton Gregory at first to try and get Mattox, but the ball ended up in right field

That error enabled Adams to score. Another error on a Tony Robson ground ball to Metcalf allowed both Massey and Mattox to cross the plate.

Ryan Bland struck out and Greider grounded out to end the inning.

“We didn’t swing the bats well,” Mizzell said. “But this time of year, when you’re trying to advance, you just try to win and keep moving. They made a few mistakes and we took advantage of it.”

Mauldin got a chance to tie the game in their half of the third. Greider gave up back-to-back singles to Cooper Guest and Clayton Gregory, then hit Ryan Moore with a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.

Greider’s jam didn’t last for long. Metcalf fouled out, Greider struck out Grant Boddison, and Bryce Teodosio grounded out to retire the side.

“It was amazing, it felt great,” Greider said about getting out of the bind. “I just threw the pitches my pitching coach called. I trusted him and threw my pitches.” Mizzell said he made some of his best pitches in that inning.

“He wasn’t sharp. His breaking pitch is usually pretty good but it wasn’t there,” Mizzell said. “He usually spots his fastball better, but he’s just a tough, hard-nosed kid and he made the pitches when he had to. I was proud of the way he battled.”

Blythewood picked up a run in the fourth and a run in the fifth, while Mauldin managed some hits and walks but stranded nine baserunners.

Kissinger lasted through the fourth inning, giving up four runs on four hits, striking out two, walking one and hitting one. Chris Anderson started the fifth inning in relief. He worked the fifth and started the sixth, but gave up a run on two hits. Darian Acosta worked the sixth and struck out two.

Toby Robson will likely get the start on the mound for the Bengals Saturday.


Mauldin          000      000      0          –           0 6 3

Blythewood     300      110      x          –           5 6 1

M: Tyler Kissinger (L), Chris Armstrong (5), Darian Acosta (6), and Hayden Yown. B: Justin Greider (W, 5-1) and Ryan Bland. 2B – Greider, Aidan Massey. LOB – M 8. B 8.

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