Diamond Invitational underway

Let The Games Begin – Blythewood Town Councilman Larry Griffin threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the South Carolina Diamond Invitational at BHS on Wednesday. | Martha Ladd

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood baseball team finished the Region 4-5A slate of games in strong fashion, with series sweeps over Irmo, Sumter, and Spring Valley, and taking two out of three games against Lugoff-Elgin.

Now the Bengals set their sights on the South Carolina Diamond Invitational, which opened Wednesday.

“We’re going to have some really good competition that’ll prepare us for what we see in the playoffs,” Blythewood head coach Banks Faulkner said. “We’ve got four games to keep figuring some things out, but we like our team. We’ve got some depth.”

Blythewood (17-5, 11-1) is ranked third among the state’s 5A teams by the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association. The Bengals will meet No.1 Dorman,  Wren, and  Spartanburg, along with T.L. Hanna, along with area teams No.5 Chapin , No.9 Dutch Fork, , and Lexington.

Landon Lucas leads the way for the Bengals at the plate with a .439 batting average, four home runs, seven doubles and 24 runs batted in.

“It’s gonna be a good chance for us to see some new people, see some new competition,” Lucas said about the spring break tournament. “We’re looking forward to it.”

John Lanier leads the team in homers with six, also has 24RBI, and has a team-high .570 on-base percentage. Zach Bailes is batting .419 with three doubles. Nate Hinson is batting .410 with seven doubles and 18 RBI.

Lanier also is tops on the mound in wins with six, on top of a 0.36 earned-run average and 47 strikeouts. Lucas and Davis Wright have four wins apiece as pitchers.

First pitch in the tournament comes at 11:30 a.m., when T.L. Hanna takes on Lexington Wednesday. Blythewood opens the invitational against Wren at 4 p.m. that day and will play Dorman at 8:30 that night.


SC Diamond Invitational

(Game times have been adjusted noting the possibility of inclement weather Friday.)

Wednesday

11:30 a.m.  – T.L. Hanna vs. LHS

1:45 p.m. – Dutch Fork vs. Wren

4:00 p.m. – Blythewood vs. Wren

6:15 p.m.– Spartanburg vs. Chapin

8:30 p.m. – Dorman vs. BHS

10:45 p.m. – Dorman vs. Dutch Fork

Thursday

9:00 a.m. – LHS vs. Spartanburg

11:15 a.m. – Lexington vs. Chapin

1:30 p.m. – Chapin vs. T.L. Hanna,

3:45 p.m. – Spartanburg vs. T.L. Hanna

6:00 p.m. – Wren vs. Dorman

8:15 p.m. – Dutch Fork vs. BHS

Saturday

10:00 a.m.– Fourth-place game (five innings)

12:00 p.m.– Third-place game (five innings)

2:00 p.m. – Consolation game (five innings)

4:00 p.m. – Championship game