ABILENE – The Carroll Dragon baseball team is thriving on late-inning magic.
For the second consecutive playoff series, the Dragons won in the last inning or extra innings against Midland to sweep the Class 5A Region I quarterfinal matchup at Hardin-Simmons University. The Dragons won the series opener with a three-run, walk-off home run by Kenny Hill in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 victory.
In the second game, the Dragons scored three runs in the top of the eighth and survived a 9-8 victory. Hill started the eighth with a double off the wall and Chris Altimont followed with an RBI double and the Dragons added two more runs in the inning. Altimont went 4-for-4 with two doubles and five RBI. Joe Heineman earned the victory in relief of starter Ben Leeper.
Carroll (32-4) advances to face Marcus (32-6) in the Region I semifinals beginning Thursday. Marcus is coming off a series sweep against Grapevine. The Dragons, now 6-0 in the playoffs, faced Marcus in the first round of the playoffs last year and lost the opener but came back to win the series.
Carroll is ranked No. 4 in that nation in this week’s Baseball America poll.
Carroll vs. Marcus – Class 5A Region I Semifinal Best-of-3 Series
Game 1: Carroll 5, Marcus 2 (Carroll leads 1-0)
Game 2: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Marcus High School (field located off-campus at 2800 Dixon Lane)
Game 3: (if necessary) 2 p.m., Saturday, Grapevine High School