The Florence RedWolves outlasted the Lexington County Blowfish in an 11-6 offensive slugfest Friday night at Lexington County Baseball Stadium.
The Blowfish started the scoring in the bottom of the first, striking first with one run. The RedWolves responded in the top of the third, taking the lead with three runs. Brandon McIlwain (Cal Berkeley) doubled home a run, and JT Weber (Southern Illinois) followed that up with an RBI single. The Blowfish would then respond, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the bottom of the fourth to retake and then extend the lead. The RedWolves drew a run closer in the top of the fifth after Lex Tuten (North Greenville) drew a bases loaded walk. The Blowfish got that run back, however, in the bottom of the frame. From that point on it was all RedWolves, as the team tied the game with two runs in in the top of the sixth. Kenny Piper (Columbia) scored on an error after a passed ball. Jon-Mitchell Carter (Coastal Carolina) singled home the tying run. The RedWolves took the lead with four runs in the seventh. Eldrige Figueroa (Arkansas-Little Rock) hit a two-run home run, his first of the summer. McIlwain followed that up by tripling home two more. The Redwolves scored one last time in the top of the ninth as Carter drove home an insurance run with a groundout.
Zach Stephenson (Northern Oklahoma) made his first start of the summer with the RedWolves, pitching 4.1 innings with 2 strikeouts, giving up 6 earned runs. Austin Moody (Francis Marion) got the win in 2.2 innings of relief, striking out one. Nathan Bock (Southeast Missouri State) closed out the game with 2.0 innings and 3 strikeouts.
Piper and McIlwain led the RedWolves offense with strong performances at the plate. Piper was 3-3 on the night with a walk and 5 runs scored. McIlwain was 3-5, finishing a home run shy of the cycle. He scored two runs and drove in 3. The RedWolves offense was also aided by Blowfish miscues, including 7 hit batsmen and 2 errors, but they coupled that with 15 total hits en route to an 11-6 victory.
The RedWolves return home to Florence tomorrow night to face the High Point-Thomasville HiToms for Cancer Awareness Night. They will be wearing specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game with proceeds going to better the lives of local cancer patients. Gates open at 6 pm, and first pitch is at 7 pm.