LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — The Blowfish needed ninth inning magic for the second consecutive evening after they stole a game away from Gastonia Friday night.
Tonight though, Lexington County stranded 8 base runners in the last three innings and fell to Florence 12-9.
The RedWolves got out to a quick start as Zach Jacobs (Francis Marion) shot a laser over the wall in right field for a solo home run to set the pace and slingshot Florence ahead 1-0.
Lexington County immediately retied the game after they had two on first and third with one out, Dom Cuoci (St. Joseph’s) smacked a SAC fly to tie the game at 1 run apiece.
In the top of the second, Florence exploded for four runs. Three of those four runs came on one swing, a three run Jim Wagner (Augusta) home run over the short wall in left field at the Lex that put Florence ahead 5-1.
The Fish struck back in the third. CPL Western Division All-Star Nick Guimbarda (Presbyterian) smacked a two run single that was followed up by a run scoring fielder’s choice. After three it was 5-4 Florence.
But the rollercoaster continued in the top of the fifth when the Wolves extended their lead again after plating a run in the fourth. Florence got two more off the bat of Wagner who totaled 6 RBIs on the evening this time depositing a ball into the alley that brought in two. The double gave the RedWolves some breathing room and an 8-4 lead.
Lexington County came right back in the home half of the fifth when Drew Ellis (Mt. Olive University) clubbed his fourth home run of the season; a two run shot over the left centerfield wall that inched the deficit back to just two runs.
After a scoreless sixth, Florence pushed their lead right back up to three runs on a fielder’s choice from Wagner that brought in Riley King (Georgia).
But the Blowfish would get as close as they’d get all evening in the bottom of the seventh.
With one out in the inning and Ellis leading from first after a walk, Riley Hogan (South Carolina) hit a mammoth shot deep into the trees in right field at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. The apex of the shot was nearly three-quarters of the way up on the light standard hovering high above the outfield grass. The two run shot closed the gap to 9-8.
But with two outs in the top of the eighth, Florence struck. A walk, a Storme Cooper (Southern Miss) RBI triple, and King RBI single inflated the lead back up to three.
In the eighth and ninth innings Lexington County would strand five base runners and fall to Florence 11-8. Rian Hair (South Carolina) (2-1) went five and worked around six earned while Cody Morris (South Carolina) (0-1) just went two and registered his first loss of the season. Jack Henry Beasley (The Citadel) notched his fifth save of 2017.
The Blowfish will be back in action after the All-Star break on Wednesday night in Savannah when they take on the Bananas for a double header Coverage on z93.1 FM The Lake will begin at 5:45 and first pitch from Savannah is slated for 6:00 p.m.