Coach Brian Hucks entered Thursday evening needing two wins over the 20-5 Carolina Forest Panthers to win the District and advance in the 4A State playoffs.
In the opener, Lexington banged out 11 hits and got a complete game, 3-hitter from Jon Scott to win 5-2. After taking an early lead in the nightcap, the Panthers piled up 10 runs and held Wildcat bats to just 3 hits as they claimed the District title with a 10-3 victory.
Lexington finishes the 2016 season with a 16-11 overall record. They began by winning the inaugural NaturChem Invitational against a quality field of teams. After a mid-season funk, the Wildcats won 9 of their final 12 games to enter the playoffs as a 3-seed.
With Game 1 tied at 2-2 in the top of the seventh, Brice Kirven drew a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. David Jacobs got on board with an infield single to give the Cats runners on the corners. Peyton Evans entered to run for Jacobs. Rhett Bane collected his third hit of the ballgame, a single to right, to score Kirven and move Evans to third base. Jared Kirven followed with an RBI single to left field to score Evans. Next up was Will Alewine who singled to center to drive in Bane with Lexington’s 5th run of the game.
Carolina Forest could not mount a challenge in the bottom of the seventh as Lexington earned a 5-2 win and forced a deciding Game 2.
Carolina Forest slugged past a 2-1 Lexington lead in Game 2, scoring 4 runs in the third inning, highlighted by a 3-run homerun. The Panthers added two more on two singles and a hit batsman in the 4th then struck with another long ball and three runs in the fifth to take a commanding 10-2 lead.
The Wildcats scored their final run of the season when Rhett Bane was hit by a pitch with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Bane advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored on an error.
Game 1 Line: Lexington 5 runs on 11 hits and 1 error, Carolina Forest 2 runs, 3 hits, 3 errors.
Game 1 Lexington Pitching
Jon Scott: 7 innings pitched, 2 runs, 1 earned, 3 hits, 10 strikeouts, 3 walks
Game 1 Lexington Hitting
Dalton Lansdowne: 2 for 3, 1 run scored, 1 RBI
Cole Lemacks: 1 for 4
Brice Kirven: 1 for 2, 1 run scored
Bubba Bowers: 1 RBI
David Jacobs: 1 for 3
Peyton Evans: 1 run scored
Rhett Bane: 3 for 4, 1 run scored, 1 RBI
Jared Kirven: 1 for 3, 1 RBI
Will Alewine: 2 for 3, 1 run scored
Game 2 Line: Carolina Forest 10 runs, 11 hits, 3 errors, Lexington 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 error.
Game 2 Lexington Pitching
Rhett Bane: 3 innings pitched, 7 runs, 8 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks
Ben Sauls: 1 1/3 innings pitched, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 strikeout
Alex Mack Jacobs: 0 innings pitched, 1 run, 0 hits, 2 walks
Jonathan Howlett: 1 2/3 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit
Game 2 Lexington Hitting
Brice Kirven: 1 for 4
Bubba Bowers: 2 for 3, 1 run scored
Rhett Bane: 1 run scored
Jared Kirven: 1 for 2, 1 RBI
Peyton Evans: 1 run scored
Will Alewine: 2 base on balls