Blythewood stings Yellow Jackets

BLYTHEWOOD – Coming off a season-opening baseball tournament at Georgetown, Blythewood won big over Irmo in its Region V-5A opener Wednesday.

Landon Lucas and Brady Carson both homered, and Ben Lang-Spittler 4-hit the Yellow Jackets as the Bengals cruised to a 12-2 victory in six innings at Blythewood Stadium.

Lang-Spittler went 4 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking four. The only runs he gave up came in the third, when Blythewood (3-2) held a 4-0 lead going into the inning.

“I thought he got stronger as the game went on,” head coach Banks Faulkner said. “He has sort of been our guy. Last year he got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I thought he made some progress tonight and took a step forward with his ability.”

Ben Lang-Spittler (2) exhibits laser-like focus as he executes his delivery. | Ross Burton

The Bengals’ lead going into the third came on two home runs.

Lucas started off the game with a 1-out solo shot that veered just inside the leftfield foul pole.

Brady Beasley and Janson Stokes both singled to start off the second. Carson, on an 0-2 count, then slammed a line-drive home run over the left centerfield fence.

“We had some good at-bats with two strikes and some guys that drew some walks,” Faulker said. “It was good to see Brady step up. He had some good at-bats, not just the home run. He’s a super kid who stays positive and does the right things.”

Irmo pitcher Trent Polly shook it off and struck out Nate Hinson and getting Jordan Flemming to ground out before Lang-Spittler singled to get another runner on. Lucas struck out to end the second.

Irmo got two runs across in the top of the third, when Lang-Spittler walked Jamie Karl and Jackson Smith singled.

Lang-Spittler got Aaron White to foul out, but Polly singled to load the bases. Lang-Spittler recovered to strike out Joe Law, but Isaiah Canty singled up the middle to drove home Karl and Smith.

Luke Winslow grounded out to retire the side, but the 2-run grab set up Polly’s easiest inning. Polly struck out the side in 13 pitches in the bottom of the third.

“That wasn’t a bad arm that we saw,” Faulkner said of Polly. “He’s a pretty good high-school arm.”

After his clean third, Polly crashed in the fourth. He started off the inning walking Stokes and Carson, and giving up a run on Hinson’s single that scored Stokes.

Then as Flemming batted, Carson came home when Hinson attempted to steal second. When the throw went into centerfield, Blythewood was up 6-2 with nobody out.

Flemming eventually struck out, but Lang-Spittler reached base on a 4-2 fielder’s choice that failed to tag out Hinson as he scored the Bengals’ seventh run.

Lang-Spittler scored on Lucas’ triple to make it 8-2, and Lucas trotted home on Cowan’s single to left.

Polly walked John Lanier and hit Beasley to load the bases with one out. He left the mound after Stokes, batting for the second time of the inning, was called out on the infield fly rule.

Polly worked just 3 2/3 innings, but gave up 10 runs on eight hits. He struck out seven, walked three, and hit one batter.

Lawson Lacomba took the mound in relief of Polly.

Muluuken Haas, running for Cowan, gave Blythewood a 10-2 lead when he came home on a wild pitch as Carson batted.

Lacomba got Carson to fly out to end the Bengals’ 6-run inning.

Alex Canino, coming on in relief of Lang-Spittler, retired the final two Irmo batters in the top of the sixth.

Blythewood forced a 10-run-rule ending in the bottom of the sixth with no outs. With the bases loaded, Lucas singled in Hinson and reliever Tyler Duffy walked Cowan to make it 12-2.

The Bengal win sparked them to win two of their next three. They topped Irmo 1-0, lost an eight-inning contest to Lexington on Saturday. Tuesday against River Bluff, the Bengals were on the right side of an eight-inning game, surviving with a 6-5 victory.

BHS – 1 – 3 – 0 – 0 – 6 – 2 – 12

Irmo – 0 – 0 – 2 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 2

WP: Ben Lang-Spittler LP: Tray Polly

HITTING: BHS – Landon Lucas 3-4, HR, 3B, 3RBI. Brady Carson HR, 3RBI. Nate Hinson 2-3, RBI.

 

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