Blythewood wasn’t ready to call it a season.
With a 7-2 win against Lexington at home on Wednesday, the Bengals (27-6) evened the Class 4A baseball championship series.
The title will be settled in game 3, on Friday at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.
“Our backs were to a wall. There’s a little sense of urgency with our crowd. And you’ve just gotta try to win that next game, get it to a third game, and anything can happen,” Bengals coach Barry Mizzell said.
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Lexington (27-5) won the opening game 5-2 on Monday.
“It comes down to a one-game season for both teams, and we’ll let it all hang out and see what happens,” Lexington coach Bryan Hucks said.
“I was proud of the way our kids came back from the other night,” Mizzell said. “Our kids have been through some adversity this year. We’ve been behind. (When) we were down, I knew our kids were resilient and they would bounce back.”
The Bengals fell behind by one in the first inning, but a leadoff home run from right fielder Aaron Dahm in the second inning tied the game.
“It relaxed our guys. We kind of loosened up a little bit, and as the game went on, we had some great at-bats,” Mizzell said.
Lexington went up again in the top of the third when Ryan Brown got on base off a Blythewood error and eventually went home on a groundball from Nick Ciuffo. In the bottom of the inning, a string of Lexington errors helped the Bengals get on top for good.
In the final four innings, Blythewood scored five runs off of four errors.
D.J. Schofield got on base with the first error and his pinch-runner, Walt Ballentine, crossed home plate two at-bats later on another error, which allowed Andrew Beckwith to reach second base. Tyler Romanik sent him home with a double down the third-base line, and the third inning closed with Blythewood up 3-2.
In the top of the fifth, Lexington looked to even the score. Batting third, Brown singled, and ran home on a ground out from Dalton Addy, but the run was negated by a batters’ interference call, and Lexington would not recover.
“It was a steal, and he said that our batter walked in front of him, which altered his throw, which I clearly didn’t think it happened that way. It is what it is right now, and that was a big momentum swing in the game,” Hucks said.
Lexington got three more hits in the game, and ended the night with six hits off Bengals pitcher Allen Louthian, who struck out five.
Blythewood posted seven hits and had two errors.
“We’re two very even teams, and they just played better than we did today,” Hucks said. “We made three or four errors and you can’t do that and win championships. We’re going to have to clean it up on the defensive end.”