Host Blythewood was a first0day winner at the South Carolina Diamond Invitational baseball tournament on Friday, whipping Wren, 10-2.
Brookland-Cayce split two first-day games, while Hammond dropped its only game of the day to Wesleyan Christian.
Derek Croxton was the Blythewood hitting star, going 3-for-4 with five runs batted in. The big blow was a two-run triple that put the Bengals on the board in the second inning. The senior left fielder then drilled a two-run single in Blythewood’s four-run burst in the third inning.
Aron Dahm, Tyler Romanik, Ryan Malone and Ricky Kernan backed Croxton with two hits apiece. Malone and two RBIs, and Kernan scored two runs. Chaz Mizzell had one hit and scored three runs.
Senior ace Andrew Beckwith went four inning to pick up the mound decision, allowing one hit and one unearned run while string out seven.
The Class 4 fifth-ranked Bengals (13-3) have two games on tap Saturday – against Wesleyan Christian (1:30 p.m.) and Hammond (9 p.m.).
Brookland-Cayce (7-6) bounced back from a 9-8 loss to Greenville in the tournament opener to upset 4A No. 6 Mauldin 10-8 thanks to a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning by Austin Hoard. DeAndre Asbury-Heath and Daniel Branham also had big games. Asbury-Heath was 4-for-4 and scored three runs, while Branhan was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Daniel Johnson was the winning pitcher in relief. Asbury-Heath, the fleet center fielder, slugged a three-run homer against Greenville.
Hammond went toe-to-toe against Wesley Christian until the visitors from Asheville, NC hung a six spot on the Skyahawks in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brooks Borders and Sam Ulmer had two hits apiece for Hammond.
B-C takes on South Aiken in Saturday’s opener at 8:30 a.m. Hammond plays Wren at 11 a.m. prior to facing Blythewood at the end of a long day of baseball.