Lexington had yet another good baseball season this spring, but it was a mixed bag of results for the Wildcats and coach Tommy Mishoe.
Lexington rebounded to recapture the Region 4-4A pennant from neighboring White Knoll, but the ‘Cats suffered an uncharacteristically quick exit in the Class 4A state playoffs.
“The guys did a great job winning the region, and we seemed to get all the breaks that we did not get last year,” said Mishoe. “Unfortunately, we committed way too many errors and it caught up with us during playoffs. We lose four seniors so we should have seven starting positions back for next year. That is granted the guys will work hard in the off-season”
The departing seniors are Gus White, Parker Fleming, Branden Baker and Jonathan Turner. White and Fleming will be missed on the mound, in particular. White was the staff ace in 2008, going 7-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He had 80 strikeouts and allowed just 39 hits in 58 innings of work. Opponents hit just .170 against him. Fleming was 2-1 on the hill.
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Junior Robert Hendrix and sophomore Alex Brooks are expected to return as the veteran core of the staff next season. Hendrix was 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA and a .195 OBA in eight games and seven starts, while Brooks was 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 10 games and three starts.
The offensive regulars slated to return include Matthew Van Laan (.333, 17 runs, 13 RBIs), Derrick Smith (.326, 22 runs, 10 RBIs, 15 steals), Chris Harper (.313), Anthony Carden (.321, 19 runs, 14 RBIs, 3 HR, 15 steals), Hendrix (.273) and Brooks (.295, 16 runs, 15 RBIs).
Five of the six teams that made up Region 4-4A over the past two seasons will make up the bulk of Region 5-4A next spring, along with Richland Northeast and old region foes Dutch Fork and Orangeburg-Wilkinson.