Bananas gut Blowfish, 18-1 in drizzly Monday night contest at Lexington County Baseball Stadium
Low points for Fish include 10-run seventh inning, includes one that resulted from bean of Banana batter
Lexington, SC (James Bowers) - It wasn’t exactly a chamber of commerce weather day at Ball Park Road Monday evening as gray skies and a pesky, yet light drizzle kept many fans away from the stadium. A look at the final score is all fans needed to see to know they didn’t miss much. The division leading Savannah Bananas peeled away any chance for a Blowfish victory with an 18-1 massacre, highlighted by a seventh inning which saw Banana runners cross home plate ten times.
There were several occasions where Blowfish pitchers had two strikes in the count with two outs, but were unable to come up with the third strike, prolonging innings and allowing further Savannah base-reaching. Banana batters managed 21 hits on the evening while the Blowfish managed only four.
The Blowfish and Bananas both failed to find any runs during the first pair of innings. Savannah struck first in the top of the third when a Cade Marlowe double sent Logan Bottrell and Connor Basler home for a 2-0 ‘Nanner lead. In the bottom of the third, the ‘Fish were able to join their foes on the board when a second base error allowed Trace Whetsell to score on a hit by Chandler Jenkins. That would be the only time the Blowfish reached home.
What followed was a Banana onslaught. An Alex Rodriguez (no relation to the major league legend) home run in the fourth, runs by Jake Sullivan and Cade Marlowe in the fifth, and an unearned score by Ruben Somelian, set the stage for the Blowfish defense to hemorrhage scoring in the seventh. First, a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded allowed Jake Sullivan to extend the lead to 9-1. Hunter Williams’ theft of second set up a subsequent while an error at second base sent Justin Dirden Home. Then, Williams was able to score on a Connor Basler hit before Basler scored himself on a single by Bottrell.
It was at this point that Blowfish skipper Marshall McDonald pulled struggling pitcher Cam Tringali in favor of TJ Shook. However, Shook did not provide the spark Mac was looking for. A Marlowe hit allowed Somellian to add to the Banana lead. Even with two outs, the Bananas made it back to the top of their batting order. Players such as Cade Marlowe and Jake Sullivan scored for the second time in one inning. It was on the Sullivan score that Trenton Nash gave the phrase “take one for the team” literal meaning. Nash, who was pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded, was hit in the face by Shook’s pitch. The third baseman was on the ground for a few minutes, but fortunately was able to walk off the field under his own power. His teammate Sullivan was able to walk home, extending the lead to 13-1. Subsequent Savannah at-bats produced two more “second time this inning” scorers including Hunter Wilson and Justin Dirden. The battered Blowfish, now trailing 16-1, did nothing in their side of seventh.
The crowd thinned to near-nothing in the top of the eighth, Justin Dirden and Jake Sullivan reached home to give the Bananas a 18-1 lead. Lexington County pitcher Frankie Fernandez was again unable to pick up the third out even after getting two strikes on a handful of batters The score was so lopsided that several Savannah players began rooting for the Blowfish to be able to end the inning. Ruben Someillian struck out swinging, allowing the game to move to the bottom of the eighth. The Blowfish mustered nothing offensively, and the contest progressed to the final inning.
The last inning had mercy on Lexington County as Bottrell and Marlowe struck out swinging while Jake Sullivan flied to center. The bottom half saw Connor Redmond pick up a long overdue hit. He was put out when Channing Painton reached on a fielder’s choice. Brennan Strovnik struck out swinging here, ending a game that the Blowfish hope to quickly forget.
Blowfish pitcher Parker Coyne had the easiest night, allowing just six runs in as many innings. Cam Tringali bore the brunt of the Savannah assault, allowing six runs in the seventh inning alone, causing him to be swapped out in favor of TJ Shook who saw four of his foes reach home. Frankie Fernandez gave up two runs in the eighth, but struck out two Banana batters in the closing frame.
Offensively, the Blowfish picked up only four hits, one each for Mac McCurdy, Chandler Redmond, Trace Whetsell (who had Lexington County’s only score) and Chaney Rogers. Marshall McDonald’s club slips to 11-22 with the defeat. The Bananas continue their division dominance moving to a record of 25-11 on the year.
The Blowfish will need to have a short memory, as they hit the field again tomorrow for a game against the Florence RedWolves, the game is set for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. Later in the week, the Blowfish will have a Thursday night bout with the Macon Bacon followed by a rematch with the Bananas on Friday.