LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — After a tough loss on the road in Gastonia Thursday night, Lexington County got a second chance at the Grizzlies Friday night at Lexington County Baseball Stadium.
Although the first inning started tough for Connor Thomas (Georgia Tech) (1-3) the lefty settled in and piled up 12 strikeouts en route to a 14-5 Blowfish win.
Gastonia started off quick in the first, loading the bases and unloading them with one swing of the bat. Thomas Yoder (Belmont Abbey) smacked a three run double off the right field wall giving Gastonia a 3-0 lead.
But the Fish came right back in the home half of the first. Dom Cuoci (St. Joseph’s) launched a RBI double off of the short wall in left field plating Jared Williams (USC-Lancaster) to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 3-1.
Right after the double, Riley Hogan (South Carolina) clubbed his fifth home run of the season; a three run shot that have the Blowfish a 4-3 lead.
After a scoreless top of the second, the Fish went back to work in the home half. Williams smacked an RBI double to plate Austin Wilhite (Georgia Tech) and then Williams was brought in on a Mickey Dugan (Gardner-Webb) SAC fly. Heading into the fifth inning, Lexington County lead 6-3.
In the bottom of the fifth the Blowfish were looking for more, Hogan plated his third RBI of the ninth on a groundout that scored Nick Guimbarda (Presbyterian College). The 7-3 lead was plenty enough for Thomas who was dealing throughout his 6.1 innings of work.
Thomas fanned 12 Grizzlies, which was a Blowfish season high for a starter. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket left with two on and one out in the seventh holding onto the four run lead.
Andrew Tilghman (Catawaba) entered and only needed one pitch to induce a inning ending double play that muted the mini threat for Gastonia.
Lexington County added a run in the seventh but saw their lead diminish to 8-5 after a two run top of the eighth for the Grizzlies.
The Blowfish came right back in the bottom of the eighth, exploding for a six run bottom of the sixth. Cuoci, Hogan, and Wilhite all added runs for the Blowfish before Jared Williams smacked his fifth hit of the evening and played his second and third RBIs of the night.
Lexington County set aside the Grizzlies in the ninth and drubbed Gastonia 14-5 at home. In total, Blowfish pitching struck out 15 Grizzlies and had their way all evening long.