Blythewood maintain its footing atop the Region 4-4A baseball standings with a 3-0 road win at Lugoff-Elgin on Friday night.
Junior right-hander Andrew Beckwith tossed an efficient five-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and no walks, and senior centerfielder Brandon Burris continue his clutch play with two hits and two RBIs.
Beckwith, who hit two Demon batters, was consistently ahead in the count, and needed just three pitches to get through the third inning. He was backed by stellar defensive support, including two infield double plays. Lugoff-Elgin had two runners reach base in just one inning – the first.
The win improved Blythewood’s overall record to 10-1, its region mark to 6-0. The young Demons dropped back to 7-5, 4-2. The Bengals travel to face second-place Spring Valley on Tuesday with a chance to essentially lock up the 4-4A pennant. Blythewood opened the region campaign on March 6 with a 2-0 win over the Vikings.
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The Bengals broke the ice with a two-out rally in the second inning off L-E sophomore Zack Bowers, who was making his first start of the season. Mark Gonzalez got things going with a walk. Zach Callahan was awarded first base on a cather’s interference ruling. Burris then dumped a single into right field to score Gonzalez.
Trouble in the fifth started when Bowers hit catcher D.J. Schofield with a pitch. Courtesy runner Hayden Banks stole second base and Tyler Romanik sent him on to third base with an infield hit. Bank trotted home on a botched pickoff attempt at first.
The Bengals struck again with two outs in the sixth, thanks to a single by Callahan and a double to right center by Burris.
Bowers pitched well, allowing just one earned run and six hits in six innings of work.
But the Demons had little success against Beckwith, who kept them off balance all night with good control and an effective change up. Leadoff man Devin Walker had the best night, going 2-for-3.
The start of the game was delayed for 75 minutes by rain and lightning, but it was no marathon night at the park as the the contest clocked in at one hour and 40 minutes.