Lexington County Blowfish complete weekend sweep of Bacon

Posted 6/4/23

The Lexington County Blowfish (3-1) completed their weekend two-game sweep of the Macon Bacon on June 3 with a back and forth 8-7 victory. 

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Lexington County Blowfish complete weekend sweep of Bacon


The Lexington County Blowfish (3-1) completed their weekend two-game sweep of the Macon Bacon on June 3 with a back and forth 8-7 victory. 


Blowfish win series opener in Macon


The Blowfish took the first game of the series in Macon in a 13-4 blowout. In that game, starter Michael Watson struck out 12 after a slow start and increased his strikeout total to 22 after the first start. It was also his second straight win on the mound.


Xavier Cumbee had a breakout game with a single, a double and a home run to put him a triple away from hitting the cycle. Ryan Ouzts contributed with a home run of his own and Blake Martin continued his red hot start to his 10-day contract with a pair of hits to make his batting average an astonishing .700 after three games.


Game two’s back and forth  start

The second game of the series was significantly more competitive. Blowfish starting pitcher Beckett White kept the Bacon off the scoreboard in the opening inning and that would be the last scoreless inning until the fifth. 


Lexington County took an early lead in the bottom of the first. Cumbee continued his impressive weekend with a lead-off walk and proceeded to steal second and third base. Jonathan Jaime’s groundout scored Cumbee and after one, they led 1-0.


Two straight Bacon singles by Jett Lovett and Jarrett Jenkins put runners on the corners with no outs to start the second. After Jenkins stole second to take away the double play threat, consecutive infield ground outs were enough to score both Lovett and Jenkins to put the Bacon up 2-1.


The Blowfish, as they did many times Saturday night, responded with putting up runs of their own. Ouzts led the inning off with a walk and Patrick Matthews’ ground rule double put runners on second and third with no outs. Sawyer Reeves’ ground ball single resulted in the tying run being scored. Wells Sykes’ ground out in the infield scored Matthews and a Cumbee RBI line drive single scored Reeves. The Blowfish threatened to score more runs after Dariyan Pendergrass singled and stole second base but failed to put up any more runs and went into the third inning with a 4-2 advantage. 


Macon’s Antonio Brown hit a lead-off single and went on to steal second and third base. A Patrick Clohisy line drive single scored Brown. A strikeout and passed ball allowed a batter to take first and one walk later gave the Bacon a bases loaded opportunity with no outs. However, they grounded into a double play the next at-bat which scored a run but minimized the damage they could do. White struck out the next batter to end the top of the third inning tied at four.


Warren Holzemer was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the third and immediately moved to third after a wild pick-off attempt and wild pitch occurred in back to back plays. Matthews grounded into a fielder's choice but it was hit well enough to score Holzemer from third to give the Blowfish a 5-4 lead going into the fourth inning.


The Bacon bounced back after a lead-off double from Jake Larson to deep right put a runner in instant scoring position. Larson then stole third base, making it easier for him to score after Brown’s RBI single on the left side of the infield. Brown stole two more bases to get to third before the Blowfish were even able to record an out. A wild pitch scored Brown and that would be all the Bacon were able to tack on in the top of the fourth. The Blowfish now trailed 6-5.


Lexington County didn’t trail long. Sykes reached base on an error and then stole second base to lead-off the inning. Cumbee moved him over to third after a ground out and a Pendergrass sacrifice fly eventually brought him home to score and tie the game at six.


Grand larceny on the base paths

Overall, the game featured 15 stolen bases between the two teams. Twelve of those stolen bases came during the onslaught of runs in the first four innings of the game. 


Out of those 12 stolen bases, the Blowfish were responsible for six of them. Cumbee stole three by himself. Reeves, Jaime and Pendergrass all stole one each. 


Cade Bouknight gets the game under control

Batesburg-Leesville star Cade Bouknight was brought in to pitch for the first time in a Blowfish uniform to start the fifth inning. Bouknight, who graduated high school just last week, looked like the most stable pitcher to appear in the game Saturday night. 


Bouknight gave the Blowfish four solid innings, giving up only one run and striking out five batters. One of those strikeouts came with a runner on third with two-outs to preserve a one run lead.


Bouknight’s stellar performance came out of necessity given the lack of options for the Blowfish to go to in the bullpen.


“We were a little thin at pitching. I mean, he graduated  just last week. I certainly couldn’t have done that at 18 and I know a lot of other people couldn’t either so hats off to him,” Blowfish coach KC Brown said after that game. “The slider was working, the changeup was working and the biggest thing is that he competes really really well out there. I was happy for him and it helped the team a bunch.”


For Bouknight, the setting may have been a little bigger than the 2A ballfields he played in while playing at Batesburg-Leesville High School, but at the end of the day, it was still the game he has grown up playing and that simplified things.


“It’s just the game of baseball, nothing changed,” Bouknight said. “As soon as the first batter went by and I knew he swung at a slider away in the batters box, I knew it was on from there. You know, stuff was working great, changeup was working good, slider was working great. They weren’t expecting the fastball and when they weren’t expecting it you just put it by them. It’s the game of baseball and I love it.”


Ouzts second home run of the season provides winning run

Like he did in Macon Friday night, Ouzts gave the Blowfish the go-ahead run with a towering two-run blast to left field in the bottom of the seventh.


“He’s a guy that’s a really good player and that needs to get at-bats and get his confidence going,” Brown said about Ouzts’s weekend performance. “He’s got a lot of power. If you watch him take batting practice, it’s really special to watch.”


Landry Mead came in to pitch in the ninth inning and retired the side to secure the win for the Blowfish, making them 3-1 to start the season and bringing a feeling of confidence in the clubhouse.


“The mood is really good,” Brown said. “You never know what’s going to happen with summer ball. You just throw a bunch of different guys from a bunch of different schools together but I really think we’ve gelled pretty quickly. Everybody gets along off the field and I think that stuff shows up when we go out there and play. The vibes are good, the culture is good and everybody’s having fun.”

Lexington County Blowfish, Macon Bacon, Xavier Cumbee, Dariyan Pendergrass, Patrick Matthews, Sawyer Reeves, Ryan Ouzts, Cade Bouknight, Beckett White, Blake Martin, Jonathan Jaime, Jett Lovett, Jarrett Jenkins, Wells Sykes, Antonio Brown, Patrick Clohisy, Warren Holzemer, Jake Larson, KC Brown, Landry Mead, Coastal Plain League


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