Lexington's Reagan locks down Bengals

Behind stellar pitcher, Wildcats take 1-0 series lead in all-local title series

ainelson@thestate.comMay 14, 2013 

The arm of Lexington’s Josh Reagan pushed Blythewood to the brink.

The Wildcats’ undefeated hurler struck out six in a complete-game, four-hitter as Lexington beat Blythewood, 5-2, in Game 1 of the Class 4A championship series at Wildcats Field.

“You’ve got to hold serve at home, got to win at home,” said Lexington coach Bryan Hucks, whose No. 1-ranked Wildcats (27-4) are undefeated at home this season.

Reagan (10-0) tossed his fifth complete game of the season

The series shifts to Blythewood on Wednesday for Game 2 as the Wildcats look to clinch their first state title since 1999. If needed, Game 3 would be held at a neutral site.

“We’ve just go to refocus,” Blythewood coach Barry Mizzell said. “These kids will be ready.”

Playing to a standing room only crowd in their final home game, the Wildcats capitalized on four Bengal errors.

Blythewood took an early lead with a first-inning run as Andrew Beckwith scored on a ground out by clean-up hitter Thomas Bessinger. But the Wildcats answered in the bottom of the inning when Ryan Brown hit a leadoff single and later scored on a single from Zach Paquette.

Hucks said that run was crucial for the Widlcats.

“You want to try to neutralize that, to get it back so that it’s 0-0 really, and then things kind of even out again,” he said.

But after four Blythewood errors in the second inning, the Wildcats took control.

It started with a Brandon Camp’s single to center. He advanced after a Bengals error before Brown took first on a catcher’s interference call to load the bases for the Wildcats with one out. After the Bengals threw Camp out at home, an error and a throwing error on the same play allowed Brown and Jordan Buster to score and give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.

Two innings later, Brown, who was 2-for-3 on the night, lined a triple to center to drive in Cody Smith and give the Wildcats a three-run lead. Nick Ciuffo followed with an RBI single to make it 5-1.

Bengals catcher D.J. Schofield doubled in Connor Grant for the game’s final tally, but Blythewood (26-6) could not muster another score.

“We’ve been really good defensively all year,” Mizzell said. “Our mistakes just cost us more runs than their mistakes did.”

Blythewood’s Beckwith (7-2) walked five and struck out eight.

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