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Heartbreaker: Lexington Falls to Ashley Ridge

The Wildcats' emotional quest for a state 4A championship ends. A triumphant Ashley Ridge will now face Byrnes High for the state crown.

The dream of a state 4A baseball crown ended Friday night with a 2-1 loss to in the Lower State championship.

Despite trailing nearly the entire game 1-0, the Swamp Foxes tied the game in the final stanza, sending the game into extra innings. Ashley Ridge finally won at the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.

Lexington now goes home, and the Swamp Foxes will travel from their home in Summerville to take on the Byrnes High School Rebels next week for the state championship in a best 2-of-3 series.

Despite the loss, and the end of , who is battling cancer, the season was nonetheless phenomenal for its remarkable reversal of fortune from 2011.

Under new coach Brian Hucks, the Wildcats spent a good portion of this year ranked number one, finishing the season 27-4 -- versus a 10-15 record last season.

Ashley Ridge, the state's second-ranked team -- which beat and then Lexington twice in the playoffs to advance to the championship series -- heads to face Byrnes with a 29-1 record.

"I love these young men, and we battled together," Hicks told Lexington's after the game. "I told these seniors they were responsible for the turnaround, and that I'm very proud of these young men. They're taking it hard right now and this loss is a tough lesson, but these are some awesome young men.

"They are an unbelievable group, and as good a group as I've ever been around in my life, and I'm just so proud to be a part of them and what they've accomplished," Hucks added. "This is tough. We felt like we could get to the big stage, but it wasn't meant to be this year. Ashley Ridge was the better team, and we've got to give credit to them."

F Marion May 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Hey Hucks, this is how is done, ". . . and beat a very good baseball team,” said Bellush."
Laura May 12, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I would say they are all true champions! They displayed emotional support to Kennedy and her family. Worked hard to turn the team around. And they did it for all the right reasons. Each one has a heart of Gold! Priceless! The title they would of received was just an added bonus. Thank You for representing Lexington . You all are the best in our eyes and hearts..

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