Lexington, behind the three-hit pitching of ace Josh Reagan, beat Blythewood 4-0 in the Class 4A state baseball championship game Friday before more than 6,000 fans at Carolina Stadium.
“We wanted this for last year’s seniors as much as for ourselves,” said the senior left-hander who closed his career with an 11-0 record with three shutouts and a 1.13 ERA.
It was the sixth state championship in program history, the first since 1999 and the first under second-year coach Brian Hucks, a former Wildcat.
“These two years (at Lexington) have been the greatest of my baseball life,” said Hucks, who guided Brookland-Cayce to two 3A titles before returning to his alma mater in 2012.
“I’m so happy for these guys because they’ve earned every bit of it. They’re blue collar, low-maintenance kids who put in the work to get this. The bonus was they had the experience in a great setting.”
The nationally ranked Wildcats, who have been No. 1 in South Carolina all season, finished with a 28-5 record.
“We definitely earned this,” Reagan said. “I can honestly say we didn’t feel any pressure during the season. We worked way too hard toward this to play scared in the big games. We’ve known all season what we had to do, and we did it.”
“Josh did what Josh does best tonight,” Hucks said. “He throws strikes, keeps it in the zone, and we play with incredible confidence behind him.”
Reagan, who struck out six, walked two and hit one Blythewood batter, was in command as the Wildcats closed in on the title — retiring nine of the 10 hitters he faced over the final three innings.
Lexington managed five hits against two Blythewood pitchers, but took advantage of six Bengals errors.
Lexington scored one run in the bottom of the first without the benefit of a hit. Leadoff man Ryan Brown reached on an error and eventually scored on Blythewood’s third infield boot of the inning.
The Wildcats put it away with three runs in the fourth inning with a combination of one hit, one walk and two Bengals miscues. The lone safety was an RBI double by Brandon Camp.
“Unfortunately, we made too many errors in this game and the whole championship series,” said Blythewood coach Barry Mizzell, whose team closed its finest season with a 27-7 record.
“The kids played as hard as they could; we just didn’t play well on defense. Lexington pitched better today and played better defense. We knew we couldn’t give away too many runs and have a chance against (Reagan).”
The Bengals’ best chance came in the first inning when Tyler Romanik doubled to deep left-center field with two outs and cleanup man Aaron Dahm followed with an infield single. But Reagan escaped the jam by inducing an easy fly out to right field.
Blythewood had one runner in scoring position the rest of the way.