Falcons Shut Down Bengals’ Season

Jordyn Adams fires to Aiden Massey at first. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

Jordyn Adams fires to Aiden Massey at first. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

BLYTHEWOOD (May 4, 2016) – Blythewood’s and Nation Ford’s starting pitchers were sitting down batters in lightning fashion Tuesday night at Blythewood Stadium.

In the later innings, Bengals pitchers struggled to throw strikes and gave up three runs on wild pitches, while Falcons pitcher Joseph Wyatt stayed on the mound to deliver Blythewood a 6-1 season-ending defeat.

Austin Heitman started for the Bengals (15-10) and pitched three-hit ball through 5-1/3 innings, but he got into trouble, as did relievers Chase Ellis and Jordyn Adams.

“We played hard. We played hard all year long,” Bengals head coach Barry Mizzell said. “We’ve had some tough losses and it wasn’t because of a lack of effort. Austin’s pitches kept us in it right there in the end, but we just made the game hard, gave away too many easy bases, walked too many, gave up too many passed balls and wild pitches.”

Nations Ford (15-10) travels to Easley to play for the District II championship.

Blythewood got off to a good start against the Falcons, and took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Aiden Massey led off that frame with a single to right-center field. Todd Mattox bunted Massey over to second. Later, Ryan Bland delivered on a 2-out single to right-center to score Massey easily.

But from that point, the Bengals’ season began to grind to a halt.

Heitman pitched four scoreless innings, but gave up the game-tying run on a wild pitch in the fifth. He came off the mound in the sixth after issuing a 1-out walk to Jordan Helms and giving up a double to Nick Hoffman.

In relief, Ellis walked Alex Stennett to load the bases. From there, Nation Ford didn’t need any hits to score. Helms crossed the plate for the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to Greg Izzo.

Ellis eventually walked Izzo and struck out Cole Martin. Before he struck out Beau Sluder to end the inning, Hoffman scored on another wild pitch to make it 3-1.

In the top of the seventh, Timmy Lehman and Taylor Queen led off with back-to-back singles. Both scored on a 2-out hit-and-run play off Alex Stennett’s infield hit. Later, pinch runner Halen Burgess scored on yet another Blythewood wild pitch as Izzo batted to make it 6-1 Falcons.

“Early on I felt like we were battling at the plate, but we didn’t have much to show for it,” Falcons head coach Stas Swerdzewski said. “I have to credit our guys with having a good approach up there at the plate. I thought Heitman kept us off balance, but I was proud of us not giving in and staying the course.”

Meanwhile, Wyatt scattered six Blythewood hits and struck out seven in a complete-game effort. His only trouble came in the fourth inning.

“Joseph’s a great competitor for us,” Swerdzewski said. “He fills up the strike zone and he was able to command his breaking ball pretty well. He’s done a great job for us especially in the last two or three weeks of the season.”

Wyatt kept steady after the fourth. He notched two strikeouts in the fifth, gave up a single to Jacob Davis, but the Falcons picked off Davis as he tried to steal second while Jordyn Adams batted.

Wyatt gave up a two-out Todd Mattox triple in the sixth, but Toby Robson grounded out to strand him.

In the seventh, Greider reached second with one out when Helms misplayed a fly ball in left field, but Wyatt struck out Jordan Black and Jordan Fleming to seal the win.

“They didn’t walk a soul, they didn’t make an error until right there in the end when it was 6-1,” Mizzell said of the Falcons. “But our kids played hard, and I can’t complain about that.”

NF: 000 012 3 – 6 5 1

BHS: 000 100 0 – 1 6 0

N: Joseph Wyatt (W) and Nick Hoffman. B: Austin Heitman (L), Chase Ellis (6), Jordyn Adams (7), and Ryan Bland. 2B – N: Nick Hoffman. 3B – B: Todd Mattox. LOB – N 5. B 5.