Lexington earns elite baseball invitation

01/03/2013 11:52 AM

01/03/2013 11:54 AM

The basketball season is about to heat up with the start of region play around the state, but Lexington made baseball news yesterday when it learned it has been invited to participate in the second annual National High School Invitational tournament at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, NC.

The Wildcats, who went 27-4 in their first season under coach Brian Hucks and had a final four finish in the Class 4A playoffs, have the honor of being the first South Carolina team to take part in the elite 16-team tournament.

The event runs March 27-30. The field features teams from 10 states and includes defending tournament champion Mater Dei of Santa Ana, CA. The tournament features a single-elimination format to determine the champion, but all teams are assured of playing four games.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” said Hucks.

The Wildcats have high hopes of making a deeper run in the playoffs this season with a number of college-bound, returning starters including South Carolina signees catcher Nick Ciuffo, pitcher Josh Reagan and pitcher Cole McMillan. Shortstop Cody Smith (Spartanburg Methodist), second baseman Dalton Addy (USC-Aiken), outfielder Zach Paquette (Citadel) are the other Lexington vets currently committed to playing college ball.

Hucks and the Wildcats primed for the 2013 season by staying together during the summer, playing more than 45 games at various high-level tournaments around the Southeast. Hucks said his club suffered only seven summers setbacks.

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