After a full day of prepping a soggy field, it was in top shape and ready to host the first playoff game of the 2018 post-season. Lexington hosted the Trojans of James Island from Region 7 in a District that also includes West Florence and Stratford.
A 5-run third inning sealed the deal early for the Wildcats as starter Jonathan Howlett continued his domination on the mound. The third started with a double off the bat of Austin Pearce. Cal Herndon followed with a bunt single. Noah Huthmaker singled scoring Pearce as Lexington broke the scoreless tie. Chase Crouch walked to load the bases, then Jared Kirven walked to score Herndon. David Cromer continued the rally with an RBI single, scoring Huthmaker to make the score 3-0. After a force out at home, Chase Lemacks hit an infield single that scored Kirven with the inning’s 4th run. Two batters later, with two down, Pearce, in his second at bat of the third inning, drew a walk, scoring Cromer and capping the big inning.
Lexington lit up the scoreboard again in the 6th inning. Cal Herndon singled, his second hit of the evening. Later in the inning, Chase Crouch hit the long ball to left center, upping the margin to 7-0.
James Island finally plated a run in the final inning as Lexington closed out a 7-1 playoff win. Jonathan Howlett picked up the win, pitching 6 complete innings, allowing just 3 hits while striking out 10.
The Cats improved their overall record to 18-6 and will host the winner of West Florence/Stratford on Thursday. The win also marked the 399th career win for Coach Brian Hucks.
James Island 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1-5-0
Lexington 0 0 5 0 0 2 x 7-8-0
Noah Huthmaker: 4 for 4, 1 run, 1 RBI
Chase Crouch: 1 for 2, 1 run, 2 RBI (homerun)
Jared Kirven: 1 run
David Cromer: 1 for 3, 1 run, 1 RBI
Chase Lemacks: 1 for 3, 1 RBI
Austin Pearce: 1 for 2, 1 run, 1 RBI (double)
Cal Herndon: 2 for 3, 2 runs