Host Blythewood defeated Greenville 14-9 at the S.C. Diamond Invitational on Wednesday.
“Offensively, we swung the bats pretty well. That was the key to the game tonight,” Bengals coach Barry Mizzell said.
Pitcher Drew Ellis homered, singled and drove in three runs in his two at-bats. Connor Granto had two hits and 2 RBIs.
After a few defensive miscues allowed Greenville to come back from a four-run deficit to make it a 5-4 game, Blythewood’s big fifth inning seemed to put the game away. The Bengals scored eight runs on three hits, with two errors and eight walks.
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Ryan Mallone hit a lead-off single and advanced to third on passed balls. Ben Grant singled to send him home, and then a Greenville fielding error sent Justin Link-Spiller home and kept the bases loaded, still with no outs. Another error on the next at-bat allowed two more runs across.
The inning closed with Blythewood up 13-4.
But the Bengals allowed six consecutive hits and five runs in the sixth, knocking that lead back down.
The Bengals had spotted Greenville, No. 2 in Class 3A, a one-run advantage in the opening inning after Red Raiders pitcher Drew Davenport walked to first, and his courtesy runner took second and third on passed balls and crossed home on a wild pitch. But in the bottom of the inning, the Bengals got their first run off a passed ball to make it even. Then Ellis took Davenport to a full count before hitting a home run to put the Bengals ahead.
Then in the second, Greenville allowed Blythewood to load the bases with walks. Link-Spiller then scored on a passed ball, and centerfielder Connor Grant drove in Ben Grant with a pop-up single. Ellis followed with an RBI single to right field to set the score at 5-1. The Red Raiders closed the session on the next at-bat, with two Bengals stranded.
But then they took a hefty cut into the Bengals’ lead, with two Blythewood errors in the third helping the Red Raiders get two runners across.
In the top of the fifth, Greenville scored to make it a one-run game again, and put the go-ahead runs on second and third. But Ellis picked up the third out on the mound to protect the Bengals’ lead.
Blythewood plays River Bluff on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.