Bengals finish second in the SCDI

BLYTHEWOOD – Timely hitting helped the Blythewood baseball team in the South Carolina Diamond Invitational last week—until it didn’t.

The Bengals (14-6) picked up clutch 2-1 wins against Chapin and Boiling Springs Wednesday and Thursday, then on Friday bombed Dorman 17-7 in six innings to make the championship game Saturday night.

There, Lexington (22-4) kept on its roll with a 7-3 victory over Blythewood, as the Bengals stranded 11 baserunners.

“We came out flat and they took advantage of us. They’re a good ball club,” head coach Dolan Crolley said. “We had our opportunities, but we were on our heels and we didn’t get the key hits.”

It was the first Wildcats SCDI championship since 2012. Blythewood, which won the tournament three times in the last four years, will shake off the loss and keep looking toward the postseason.

“It’s one of those things we talk about all the time, the main focus is going to be the playoffs,” head coach Dolan Crolley said. “We always want to win that game there to keep the train rolling, but we didn’t.”

Lexington got an early jump on Blythewood with two runs in the first inning, but a 4-run third gave the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.

Four straight 1-out hits in that inning—a Gabe Herold double and singles from Landon Knight, Brandon Cromer, and Will Burgess, put two runs on the board, and Patrick Evans’ sacrifice fly plated a third. Braydon Jeffcoat’s 2-out RBI single closed out the scoring, with Bengals starting pitcher Luke Duncan getting Wes Duckett out on a tapper back to the mound.

Duncan made way for John Rollings on the mound to start the fourth. Rollings worked the final four innings, giving up a run on three hits.

While the Wildcats seemed to be up big, the Bengals were still intent on overtaking them.

In the bottom of the third, with two out and Xavier Cuevas on base with a single, Alex Myers singled in his teammate, then came home himself on Rollings’ double to leftfield.

That hit was the end for Cromer as Lexington’s starting pitcher. Cameron Sutton came on and walked Camden Watts but got Macon Leppert to fly out and end the inning with Rollings and Watts still on board.

Blythewood continued to push runners on base in every inning, but stranded eight more baserunners.

In the fourth inning Carson Weathers led off with a base hit and Duncan and Landon Penfield drew walks to load the bases for Alex Myers. Myers lined out in the fourth

In the fifth, Rollings led off with a single but Sutton and the Lexington defense retired the next three batters, Watts, Leppert, and Weathers.

Blythewood did pick up a run in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 6-3. Harrison Collins got a one-out single, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, and scored on Penfield’s double to left centerfield. With two out, Myers was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second.

With Tyler Floyd in the mound in relief of Sutton, Rollings popped a foul behind the third baseline that Will Burgess caught for the third out—stranding two more runners.

Lexington got a run in the top of the seventh, but Blythewood kept trying to get something going.

Watts and Leppert opened the final inning with back-to-back singles, but Floyd got Weathers, Dunkin, and Collins to fly out or pop out to put the game in the books.

Blythewood opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over Chapin April 12, and followed up with a 2-1 win over Boiling Springs the next day.

Against Dorman Friday, Blythewood overcame a 4-0 deficit with a 6-run fourth and a 2-run fifth to take an 8-7 lead going into the sixth inning. The Bengals bombed the Cavaliers with nine runs in that frame, ending the game on the 10-run mercy rule.

Crolley said those three games showed that the team can play great defense as well as overcome big leads and go for the win. The Lexington loss will prove helpful as well, Crolley added.

“That was a really good game for us to see what happens when you play teams that capitalize on your mistakes,” he said. “That’s going to be playoff games. The goal is always to make a long push into the playoffs. The goals have been set, and they’re pretty good about flipping the switch and getting ready for Monday.”

Blythewood got back into Region 3-5A play Monday night with a 7-2 win at Rock Hill. They played host to the Bearcats Wednesday and travel back to Rock Hill today.

Wednesday, April 12

Blythewood – 0-0-0-0-2-0-0 – 2, 5, 0

Chapin – 0-0-0-0-1-0-0 – 1, 5, 2

W: Landon Penfield.

B: :L Weisinger 2-3. Camden Watts RBI. Carson Weathers RBI. C: C Raines 2-3, 2B. M Floyd RBI

Thursday, April 13

Boiling Springs – 0-0-1-0-0-0-0 – 1, 4, 1

Blythewood – 1-0-0-1-0-0-X  – 2, 6, 0

W: Ben Blackwell.

B: John Rollings 3-4. RBI. Alex Myers 2B. Xavier Cuevas RBI.

Friday, April 14

Dorman  – 0-4-0-0-3-0 – 7, 5, 1

Blythewood – 0-0-0-6-2-9 – 17, 14, 1

W: Xavier Cuevas.

B: Camden Watts 3-5, 3B, HR, 6 RBI. Carson Weathers 3-4. Landon Penfield 2-5, 2 RBI Alex Myers 2-4, 2 RBI. Luke Duncan 2B, 2 RBI. Xavier Cuevas 2B, 2 RBI. Harrison Collins 2B.

Saturday, April 15

Lexington – 2-0-4-0-0-0-1 – 7, 10, 0

Blythewood – 0-0-2-0-0-1-0 – 3, 11, 1

W: Brandon Cromer.

B: John Rollings 2-4, 2B, RBI. Camden Watts 2-3. Macon Leppert 2-4. Landon Penfield 2B, RBI. Alex Myers RBI. L: Braydon Jeffcoat 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI. Tyler Floyd 2-4. Brandon Cromer 2-4, HR, 2 RBI. Patrick Evans 2-3. Gabe Herold 2B

Monday, April 17

Blythewood – 4-1-1-0-0-1-0 – 7, 10, 1

Rock Hill – 0-0-0-0-0-0-2 – 2, 4, 2

W: Landon Penfield.

B: Alex Myers 2-3. Camden Watts 2B, RBI. John Rollings 2B. Macon Leppert 3RBI. Harrison Collins RBI. Carson Weathers RBI. R: Wyatt Faulkner 2B, RBI. Gabe Cassidy RBI.

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