Moving into the late innings, Wildcats were struggling to get base runners. At the same time, with a 3-0 lead, Wando was playing well defensively. It looked as though the 2018 baseball season was coming to en end. Then came the home half of the 5th inning.
Austin Pearce led off with a base on balls and with 1 out, scored on Noah Huthmaker’s 2-run, line drive homer to left field. Chase Crouch made it back-to-back long balls with a solo shot to center and the game was tied at 3 apiece. The inning wasn’t over. Jared Kirven was hit by a pitch and advanced to 2nd base on a passed ball. David Cromer’s ground ball was misplayed allowing Kirven to cross with the 4th run and the 1st Lexington lead.
One inning later, with Chase Lemacks on first via a walk, Austin Pearce reached on a bunt single. With runners on 1st and 3rd, Pearce stole 2nd base uncontested. Huthmaker followed with an RBI single to widen the lead to 5-3.
In their last chance, Wando got a single and a walk to open the 7th. But the rally was squelched quickly with a strikeout and a 4-6-3 double play that sent the Warriors into the off-season.
Jake Wisniewski went the distance, surrendering 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits while striking out 10.
Lexington will take their 22-7 record on a return visit to River Bluff on Wednesday where they must beat the Gators twice to advance to the 5A state championship series.
Noah Huthmaker: 2 for 4 (HR), 1 run, 3 RBI
Chase Crouch: 1 for 3 (HR), 1 run, 1 RBI
Austin Pearce: 2 for 2 (double)
Jared Kirven: 1 run