The defending champs were simply too strong.
Lexington High School won twice, 10-4 and 7-3, on Wednesday to capture the District V championship and ousted Goose Creek from the Class AAAA playoffs.
“We didn’t play as well as we could but the kids never quit,” Gators coach Chris Pond said. “Both games, we left way too many men on base. We didn’t get the big hits when we needed.”
Lexington (20-8) travels to District VI winner Sumter on Saturday to begin the Lower State final four. The Gators end the season with a 15-11 record.
The second game was the final one for eight Gators seniors.
“They worked hard all year,” Pond said.
Lexington forced a decisive game when Wildcats ace Cordes Baker (8-1) outgunned Goose Creek ace Cody Smith (4-3) in the opener.
The Wildcats struck for two runs in the first inning and added two more in the third to give Baker all the support he needed. Baker struck out eight batters and gave up two hits in five innings.
Goose Creek trailed 8-0 before scoring in the fifth inning.
In the second game, the Wildcats scored three runs in the fifth to lead 5-1 and built a 7-2 advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh.
But the Gators fought to the end.
Chris Singleton drew a bases loaded walk to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs but Lexington reliever Jordan Buster coaxed a pop out to end it.
Rhett Bane (5-1) earned the win for Lexington, tossing four innings. Tyler Rio (5-4) took the loss for Goose Creek, lasting until the fifth inning.
Smith had a solo homer for the Gators and Singleton drove in a run with a ground rule double earlier in the game.