Elliot Lance tossed his second postseason shutout, and Nick Ciuffo hit a two-run homer to lead top-ranked Lexington to an 8-0 victory against Beaufort in the opening game of the Class 4A Lower State baseball playoffs at Wildcats Field on Saturday afternoon.
Ryan Brown added three hits for Lexington (24-4), which next plays host to South Aiken in a winner’s bracket game at 7 p.m. on Monday. Beaufort (16-10) fell to the loser’s bracket and will take on Sumter in an elimination game Monday.
South Aiken (18-7) won at Sumter, 6-1, on Saturday. Lexington is 2-0 against South Aiken this season.
Lance (4-0) picked up the win, allowing three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Lance also pitched a five-hit shutout in a 2-0 win against Ashley Ridge on April 26.
Ciuffo started with a two-run homer in the first inning, and the Wildcats added three runs in the second. Brown delivered an RBI single, and a wild pitch and an error plated two more runs to make it 5-0.
Cody Smith led off Lexington’s half of the fourth inning with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on Brown’s infield hit. Smith scored on a balk, and Ciuffo lined a single to center that plated Brown to give Lexington a 7-0 advantage. Dalton Addy singled and later scored on a wild pitch in the sixth inning for the final margin.
Beaufort starter Brady Cormier (3-3) allowed five runs on five hits in 12/3 innings.