A Yellow Jacket was at each base, and the North Augusta baseball team had its golden opportunity to take a lead against a state power.
But the hopes for an early spark were snatched away with an inning-ending double play, and Lexington cruised from there in a 9-0 win Friday night at Riverview Park.
“Early on, we had some opportunities to get some things done,” North Augusta coach Vic Radcliff said. “But we didn’t take advantage of that.”
The Yellow Jackets (5-4 overall, 2-3 region 5-AAAA) had two hits in the bottom of the first from Bryson Conner and Russell Scaggs and loaded the bases with a walk, but they got only one more hit after that – and that was in the second.
Lexington starting pitcher Josh Reagan was dominant most of the night, retiring the last 16 batters. He had eight strikeouts to hand North Augusta its second consecutive shutout loss.
Yellow Jackets starter Jake McCormick was strong for all but two innings. He shut down the first six hitters he faced prior to facing a troubling third inning.
In that inning, the Wildcats (10-1, 4-0) scored four times on RBI singles from Ryan Brown, Dalton Addy and Zack Paquette.
They had another impressive inning in the sixth, when they added five more runs. Brandon Camp started the sixth-inning barrage with a solo blast. Four more runs came across in the inning.
North Augusta was dealt another blow in the inning when Conner injured his ankle, Radcliff said. Conner appeared to be hurt by a sliding runner.
On offense, North Augusta couldn’t climb back from the huge hole as it lost its third consecutive game.
“We just got to turn the knobs or buttons and get things rolling,” Radcliff said about the hitting.