FORT WORTH – The Carroll Dragons’ magical playoff ride came to an end Saturday in the Class 5A Region I Finals against Arlington Martin.
In a tension-filled Game 3, the Dragons fell 5-2 before nearly 4,000 fans at TCU’s Lupton Stadium. With the victory, Martin advances to the 5A state semifinals in Round Rock on Friday. The Dragons produced their longest playoff run since reaching the state final in 2008. Carroll, which finished 25-13, fell behind 1-0 in the second inning and 4-0 after the top of the fourth.
But the Dragons rallied with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Carroll finished with seven hits, but couldn’t string enough timely hits together against Martin starter Turner Larkins. Carroll catcher Hayden Zier led the Dragons with two hits.
The Dragons’ comeback was plagued by five errors. Carroll started freshman Ben Leeper on the mound and he went into the third inning before being relieved by Sean Thompson. Austin Tyrone also threw in relief and Tyler Alexander closed the game for the Dragons. It was Alexander’s first action since breaking his left wrist in the playoff opener against Marcus on May 3.
The Dragons produced clutch play throughout the playoff run winning seven elimination games. Along the run, Carroll knocked off Marcus, Grapevine, Flower Mound and nationally-ranked El Paso Montwood.