Lexington County’s “Pancakes” best Macon Bacon in 9-6 decision at Ball Park Road Thursday evening
Lexington County does not allow Macon scoring in final four innings, benefits from explosive bottom fifth
Lexington County, SC (James Bowers) -The Lexington County “Pancakes,” most commonly known as the Blowfish when they aren’t playing Macon’s Bacon, enjoyed a 9-6 win over the Macon Bacon on Thursday night, owing their victory to a strong set of final innings in which the home squad did not allow a run. The matchup, which always inspires the LC franchise to temporarily switch to the breakfast-centric moniker from the usual “Blowfish” saw flapjack batters put together a strong showing in the fifth inning, followed by a seventh inning in which three runs put the home side on top for good. The Pancakes overcame an early 6-1 deficit to win their thirteenth game of the 2018 season.
The first inning brought back painful memories of a Monday night drubbing by the Savannah Bananas. An early error at second base for Lexington County on a Kenton Crawford single got Bacon runners Zack Weisz and Riley King across home plate to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Later in the side Crawford scored himself on a single by Brandon Michie and a double by Alex Crotty sent Michie and Alex Canty to home plate to give Macon the 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the opening inning, Zack Spivey doubled and then advanced to third on a CJ Smith ground-out, allowing him to score when Chandler Jenkins singled. The next three innings were scoreless for both squads. In the top of the fifth, a Brandon Michie homer added to Macon’s lead. It would prove to be their final score, as the home side would see the Pancakes assume control of the ball game.
Lexington County opened the bottom of the fifth frame with consecutive walks of Chandler Redmond and Cole Tate. A single by Channing Painton sent Redmond home to cut the score to 6-2. Then an error at first base scored Cole Tate on what should have been a ground out by Zack Spivey who was able to get to second base, thanks to the Macon miscue. A single by CJ Smith put both Sprivey and Painton across home plate to make it a one-run ballgame. A Connor Tate single let CJ Smith score, tying things up at six.
Macon did nothing offensively in the top of the sixth save for one single. That inning was similarly fruitless for Lexington County. After holding the Bacon scoreless once again in the seventh, LC was poised to take the lead. They did so when CJ Smith scored on a Patrick Price single to make it 7-6 Pancakes. Cole Tate’s single got Patrick Price home and then Chandler Redmond took advantage of an error by the Macon catcher to make it 9-6 Lexington County. The Bacon failed to answer in the next inning. The Pancakes were held scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, and it became up to closing pitcher Cam Tringali seal the victory for the home side.
Tringali must have been itching to redeem himself after an abysmal showing Monday night against the Savannah Bananas. He allowed six runs in the top of the seventh inning alone, helping pave the way for the Bananas to drub the Blowfish 18-1. Tringali was pulled in favor of TJ Shook, who had nearly the same level of success. After this kind of setback, the University of South Carolina pitcher hoped for a chance to show he could close effectively. That opportunity came Thursday night; he did not disappoint.
Tringali’s batters grounded out in succession in the top of the eigth. In the final inning, he was able to thwart a Bacon comeback, forcing their hitters to fly out, and then ground out twice. It was redemption that could not be scripted.
The Pancakes starting pitcher TJ Shook allowed six runs in five innings to go with eight hits. His successor Jacob Rye held the Bacon scoreless. Offensively, Chandler Jenkins and Channing Painton had two hits each and both had an RBI. Zack Spivey and CJ Smith both scored twice for Lexington County.
Macon had three two-hit batters in Zack Weisz, Cal Gentry, and Brandon Michie. Defensively, the Bacon suffered three errors, including two that allowed scores.
The Lexington County squad moves to 13-22 on the year with the win. They get right back to action and their usual name Friday night when they host those dubious Savannah Bananas. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. The Macon Bacon are now 18-18 and will return to central Georgia to face the Florence RedWolves Friday evening.