Seven Midlands teams are still standing in the Class 4A state baseball and softball playoffs.
The odd thing is all seven of the district finalists will be on the road Wednesday, needing two wins to advance to the Elite Eight phase of the postseason.
Defending state champion Lexington (18-8) will play for the District 5 championship at Goose Creek. The Wildcats have been on a tear since being upset by Ridge View in the first round – downing Beaufort 11-1 on Saturday and avenging the early stumble with a 7-0 win Monday over the Blazers. Ryan Brown and Jordan Buster had three hits apiece and Brice Kirven drove in three runs and also had two steals. Four Lexington pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout.
Defending Upper State champion Blythewood (19-7) earned another crack at Fort Mill with a 4-1 win over Gaffney in Monday’s elimination game. The Bengals dropped a decision 5-0 to Fort Mill at home in the second round on Friday.
Richland Northeast (18-9) continues to live on the edge. The Cavaliers advanced to the District 3 championship round at Northwestern with a 4-3 win over J.L. Mann. RNE beat Riverside in another elimination game on Saturday after taking a 4-1 loss to JLM in the first round. Tense affairs have been the norm this spring. In fact, 10 Cavaliers games have been decided by two runs or fewer this season. Moreover, RNE is now 6-2 in one-run games.
Things did not go as planned for Dutch Fork, White Knoll and Ridge View. All three were eliminated on Monday. DF fell 4-1 at home against Ashley Ridge. White Knoll’s loss was hard to take. The Timberwolves had a 6-0 lead and needed three outs to advance to the District 7 finals. West Florence, however, rallied to score seven run to steal the win and rate a title shot against West Ashley.
Blythewood, Lexington, Lugoff-Elgin and Spring Valley all have the chance to turn the tables on the teams that sent them to the loser’s bracket in their respective district tournaments.
Blythewood (22-7) will be at Clover for the District 2 final thanks to a 6-5 win over Boiling Springs. The Bengals took a 7-5 hit against the Blue Eagles at home in the second round on Friday.
Lexington (17-6) also earned a shot at revenge against Wando in the District 5 finale. The Warriors from the Lowcountry defeated the Wildcats in a 12-10 second-round slugfest on Friday. The Cats survived with a wild 13-11 win over Beaufort on Monday.
Lugoff-Elgin (21-4) rated another go at Northwestern in District 3 with an 11-5 win at home over Hillcrest in Monday’s elimination game. The Demons suffered a 6-2 loss to the Trojans in Rock Hill on Saturday.
Spring Valley (15-11) pulled off a 3-1 upset at South Florence to move on to the District 6 final at Summerville. The Green Wave ripped SV 12-2 in a first-round game but the Vikings have climbed back into contention.
Dutch Fork’s season came to an end Monday with a 5-2 loss to Carolina Forest – the same beat the Silver Foxes beat in the District 8 opener.