Though Saturday’s placement games at the South Carolina Diamond Invitational were rained out, host Blythewood can make a case for the abbreviated tournament title because it was the only club in the eight-game field to emerge from pool play with a 3-0 record.
It was the second excellent tournament showing of the season for Blythewood, which won in the preseason RBI event at White Knoll.
The Bengals defeated Greenville (14-9), Wren (9-4) and River Bluff (5-2) in SCDI play.
Drew Ellis was the star of the week. The senior left-hander had one decision on the mound and led the tournament in home runs (3) and total bases (13) and tied for second place with teammate Tyler Romanik in RBI (6).
Never miss a local story.
Ellis pitched five innings to pick up the win in the opener against Greenville in a rematch of last season’s SCDI championship game. At the plate, he had a run-scoring single and a solo home run. Ellis followed with home runs in the next two games, as well.
Romanik and Connor Grant also had big offensive tournaments. Romanik drove in at least one run in all three games. Grant finished with a .500 batting average, driving in two runs in each of the first two games.
On the pitching side, Ellis, Toby Robson and Jacob Davis were the starters and winners, and Tripper Ergle posted two saves.
Blythewood (16-5) is rolling into the final week of the regular season. The Bengals have won six in a row and 11 of their last 12 games. Barry Mizzell’s team has a key Region 4-4A game on Tuesday at Richland Northeast.
First-year River Bluff managed one win in three tournament outings. Tig Yoder went the distance on the hill in the Gators’s 4-2 win over Greenville. Will Bradford’s double and Reece Burnett’s two-run RBI single in the second inning proved to be the winning run.
The Gators (10-8) have four Region 4-3A game remaining, beginning with a Tuesday trip to Chapin.
Spring Valley (4-14) dropped three tournament games. The Viking highlight was a three-run homer by Chase Hayes in a 14-7 loss to West Ashley in the tourney opener.