The Lexington County Blowfish opened up the 2023 season with an 8-4 win over the Boone Bigfoots.
The Lexington County Blowfish opened up the 2023 season with an 8-4 win over the Boone Bigfoots. The win was also the first career coaching win for KC Brown.
“First game and first win, it got dicey there, obviously, in the last inning so I’m over there sweating bullets,” Brown said after the game. “But you gotta play it cool and that was just a lot of fun.”
The Blowfish scored their first run of the season in their very first inning of the season. Lead-off hitter Dariyan Pendergrass drew a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Dalton Reeves hit a shallow fly ball to right field and Pendergrass tagged up to put them on the board 1-0 after one.
In the bottom of the third, the Blowfish provided more run support when Dalton Reeves hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to score Patrick Matthews, who got on base via walk and moved to third after a Landry Mead double. Jonathan Jaime’s towering home run to right field was the team’s first of the year and increased the lead to 4-0.
Starting pitcher Michael Watson cruised through the first four innings but ran into a little trouble in the fifth. The first two Bigfoot batters got on base and with runners on second and third with no outs, the visitors looked poised to chip away at the Blowfish lead.
Boone’s Justin Reed connected on a pitch and sent it to the outfield and scored both runners but was caught in a rundown between first and second. Watson got his team out of the inning while only giving up the two runs.
Watson went on to pitch seven full innings and struck out ten batters.
“I gotta give a huge shoutout to Michael Watson,” Brown said. “He was lights out. His demeanor on the mound really sets the tone.”
In the bottom half of the fifth, the Blowfish were able to increase their advantage. Ashby Vining got hit by a pitch and had to exit the contest. Former Irmo High School standout Julian Scott subbed in for him and was able to move to third after Jaime’s ground rule double. A wild pitch eventually scored Scott and gave the Blowfish a 5-2 cushion.
The Blowfish pulled away even further in the eighth. Blake Martin hit a fly ball opposite field double to left and Pendergrass followed that up by hitting a single that took a weird hop off second base and hit Bigfoot shortstop Carlos Amezquita in the face. Matthews walked with one out to load the bases. A wild pitch for ball four scored Martin but with Boone catcher Rhogue Wallace reacting slowly to get the loose ball, Pendergrass went past third and stole home. Another wild pitch brought home Matthews and gave the Blowfish a convincing 8-2 lead going into the final frame.
Beckett White came in to pitch in the ninth to close things out. The Bigfoots scored two runs after an RBI double and a wild pitch. However, a White strikeout killed the rally and clinched a season opening 8-4 win for the Blowfish.
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