Lexington wins region baseball opener

March 12, 2014 

By Tony Ciuffo Michael Smoak pitched five strong innings and Marshall Pratte delivered a go-ahead run-scoring single in the fifth inning that helped third-ranked Lexington to a 4-2 win over North Augusta in the Region 5-AAAA opener for both schools on Monday. Lexington, which improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in league action, plays host to region-rival South Aiken at 7:00 on Friday. North Augusta is 0-1 and 0-1. The Wildcats scored twice in the first inning. Brice Kirven doubled with one out and scored on a single by Pratte. Pratte eventually scored on a two-out error that gave Lexington at 2-0 lead. Ryan Lark’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the third for North Augusta tied the game at 2-all. Ryan Brown led off the top of the sixth inning with a single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Pratte’s two-out single to left for a 3-2 Wildcats’ advantage. Lexington added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on Braxton Ashley RBI single for the final margin. The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a pair of walks and a hit batter. Relief pitcher Cordes Baker worked out of trouble by getting a strikeout and ground out to end the threat. North Augusta put the tying runs in scoring position with one out in the seventh before Baker struck out the final to batters to secure the win. Smoak (1-0) picked up the win surrendering a pair of unearned runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Baker worked the final two frames with five strikeouts for his first save. Nick Boyd (0-1) suffered the loss allowing two runs on five hits over 1 1/3 innings of relief.

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