Mater Dei of Santa Ana CA nipped Lexington, 1-0, on Thursday in the second round of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational tournament in Cary, NC.
It was a battle of two nationally ranked teams. Brian Hucks’ Wildcats stood at No. 12 on the Maxpreps.com Xcellent 25 list with the Monarchs, the defending NHSI tournament champions, at No. 14.
Lexington, which saw a nine-game winning streak come to an end, falls to 11-2 and into the tournament consolation bracket.
Mater Dei (8-1) scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the first inning with a single by catcher Jeremy Martinez and a run-scoring double by Ryan McMahon off Lexington starter Jordan Buster.
Lexington had scoring chances against Monarchs left-hander Aaron Cross, but could not find the plate. The Wildcats best shot came in the seventh when they had runners on first and third base with one out courtesy of singles by Cole McMillan and Buster. But the game ended on a bad-break note for the ‘Cats. McMillan was doubled off at third base after Monarchs third baseman McMahon speared a sharp line drive off the bat of Lexington’s Cody Smith.
Buster pitched four innings, allowing the one run and six hits. Elliott Lance threw two innings of two-hit scoreless relief.