Different leader, same results for the Lexington County Blowfish Saturday night.
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With Jonathan Johnson unavailable, assistant coach Matt Ribera took the head coaching reins for the team’s road contest at the Florence Flamingos. Johnson, who replaced Fico Kondra this week after he accepted the head coaching job at alma mater Coker College, is expected to coach the Blowfish Monday for their game at High Point-Thomasville.
The Saturday game marked the grand opening of Carolina Bank Field for the renamed Florence franchise, which was seeking its first win of the season.
An eight-run fifth inning helped Lexington County rally from an early deficit to defeat the Flamingos 14-11.
The Blowfish took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Elijah Lambros scored off a passed ball and Ryan Ouzts drove home Brock Vrandenburg with an RBI fielder’s choice.
Florence tied Lexington County in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Will Hardee and RBI walk by Mason Staz. The Blowfish reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the second inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Lambros and University of South Carolina and Lexington High graduate David Cromer scoring off a passed ball.
After Florence got within 4-3 in the bottom of the second, it scored four runs in the third to take a 7-4 lead sparked by a two-run homer by Fransesco Barbieri.
Lexington County cut the deficit to 7-6 in the top of the fourth, only to have the Flamingos added two runs into the bottom half of the inning to make it 9-6.
The top of the fifth saw the Blowfish send 13 batters to the plate. After Joshua Hernandez scored off a wild pitch and Vrandenburg had an RBI walk, Braylin Marine belted a two-run single to put Lexington County back on top 10-9.
Lambros scored again off a passed ball and Hernandez cleared the bases in his second at-bat with a three-run double.
Pitchers Austin Sandifer and Beau Ross combined for nine strikeouts and allowed two runs over the remaining five innings to preserve the win.
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