Blowfish Heading to the Playoffs
LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — (Blowfish) — Combined with losses by the Martinsville Mustangs and High Point-Thomasville HiToms, and with a win of their own, the Lexington County Blowfish will be headed to the Petitt Cup Playoffs in 2015 after splitting a doubleheader with the Forest City Owls. Forest City took game one 7-3, and the Blowfish walked off in game two, winning 5-4 in eight innings. The night began in doubt, as Forest City ramped out to a 5-0 lead in game one. The Blowfish clawed back into the game after a solo home run by Tyler Lancaster (Spartanburg Methodist) in the fourth inning, and RBI knocks by J.D. Crowe (Francis Marion) and Lancaster an inning later. Forest City’s Zack Canada went 4-for-4 at the dish in the first game, and his two-run home run following a walk of Steven Piette put the lead out of reach for the Blowfish, who went punchless in the bottom of the seventh inning, ending game one. That, in essence, made game two a must-win–at least, at the time. Thankfully for the Blowfish, deep deficits befell their competition, and made their chances of making the playoffs significantly higher. The Asheboro Copperheads took care of the Mustangs 8-4, and the Holly Springs Salamanders topped the HiToms 6-1. That automatically clinched the playoffs for the Blowfish, who had very quickly put on a show for their home fans in game two during a tremendously long second inning. With the bases loaded, local product Derek Olenchuk (Newberry) annihilated a baseball into the trees in right field, blasting a grand slam, and erasing an early 1-0 deficit. They would load the bases for a second time in the inning, but they were stranded in the early stages of a fantastic performance by Owls reliever Reed Howell. Forest City tied the game late on a wild pitch, but that tie only lasted one inning. Austin Garcia (Bethune-Cookman), Olenchuk and Dalton Duty (University of Central Florida) all reached base in the bottom of the eighth inning. Garcia would be thrown out on a fielder’s choice by Deric Boone (Auburn University Montgomery), but that did not deter the Blowfish. One batter later, Duty took off from third base on a wild pitch and scored, ending the ballgame. It was the second walk-off win of the season for the Blowfish. Both of them occurred in the second half of the season. As a result of Monday’s action, the Blowfish will host the Asheboro Copperheads in the first round of the Petitt Cup playoffs. Game one will be Wednesday, August 5 at Lexington County Baseball Stadium starting at 7:05 p.m. The other playoff matchup will pit the Florence RedWolves and the Gastonia Grizzlies against one another, with Gastonia as the higher seed. Lexington County ends the regular season with a record of 28-28. Tickets are available for the opening round by calling the box office at 803-254-FISH, online at blowfishbaseball.com, and at Blowfish on Main (101 East Main Street, Lexington, S.C.).