By Kathryn Cassetta
The Carroll Dragon baseball team began the Class 5A area round playoff series against Mansfield Legacy in brilliant fashion. The Dragons ended series in two games by maintaining that same level.
Carroll (29-6) advances to meet Plano in the Region I quarterfinals this week at Coppell. The series begins Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Game 2 is Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 3 (if necessary) is 1 p.m. Saturday.
In Game 1 vs. Legacy, the Dragons won 7-1. Dragon Field was bustling with noise and excitement throughout the game and two seniors boosted the cheers.
Dragon left fielder Stephen Tanksley stole the offensive show in the fourth inning when he smacked a grand slam. The Dragons’ five-run inning gave them a 6-0 lead after four innings and all the cushion senior right-handed starter John Curtiss would need.
Curtiss threw a complete game and halted the Legacy lineup with 12 strikeouts and just four hits and no walks.
Patrick McLendon also provided big lift in the 12-hit attack going 4-for-4 for the Dragons.
In Game 2, the Dragons delivered on the mound again for a 5-1 victory at Legacy. Senior Kyle Bailey threw a complete game and had eight strikeouts and the only run that scored was unearned. Bailey also went 3-for-4 and his catcher Patrick Quintanilla added a home run.
The Dragons are now 4-0 in the playoffs and have won seven consecutive games.
(Photos by CISD Interns Jake Beach and Kevin Adler) Above: Carroll pitcher John Curtiss stifles Legacy’s lineup. Below: Stephen Tankley connects on his fourth-inning grand slam to left.)
Carroll vs. Plano – Class 5A Region I Quarterfinals
Game 1: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Coppell
Game 2: 7:30 p.m., Friday at Coppell
Game 3: 1 p.m., Saturday at Coppell (if necessary)