FORT WORTH – Thursday evening at TCU, the Carroll Dragons and Martin Warriors met in Game 2 of the Class 5A Region I Final series. After losing the series opener, the Dragons sent Texas A&M-bound Greg Maisto to the mound to save the Dragons’ season. Maisto was nothing short of incredible, and led the Dragons to a 2-0 Game 2 victory. Maisto threw a complete game one-hitter on 109 pitches, silencing the explosive Martin offense. Maisto had six strikeouts walked three. After the game, Maisto said, “I was confident. I knew I had my stuff tonight. The two-seam was really working tonight. Staying alive in the playoffs is a great feeling.”
The victory moved the Dragons to 7-0 in playoff elimination games.
On the offensive side, the scoring started early for the Dragons. After a lead off walk by Chris Altimont and a sacrifice bunt by Kansas State signee Ben Sego, junior third basemen Kenny Hill stepped in. On the first pitch, Hill ripped a double that one hopped the left-center field wall, scoring Altimont form second base.
“It was a fastball, pretty much right down the middle, a little up,” Hill said. “I knew I had to do something tonight after going 0-for-3 last night. It felt great.”
The Dragons would not score again until the bottom of the sixth inning. Hill led off the inning off with a walk, advanced to second on another sacrifice bunt, this time by the senior designated hitter Nick Arst. Hill then stole third base on the third pitch with center fielder Tyler Barnes hitting. With a 2-2 count, Barnes hit a deep sacrifice fly to the left fielder, which scored Hill from third. Barnes is 4-fo-5 in series. Talking about what has changed lately, Barnes said, “I’ve just had an aggressive approach at the plate, I’m seeing the ball great.”
The deciding Game 3 is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at TCU’s Lupton Stadium. The winner advances to the Class 5A State Tournament next Friday in Round Rock. When asked about what he is looking forward to most about Saturday, Hill said, “Winning another one. We still want more.”
The senior tossed a one-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory and slammed the door on Flower Mound’s powerful offense sending the Dragons to the Class 5A Region I Semifinals this weekend. Maisto baffled the Jaguars’ lineup and was the perfect matchup against a heavy left-handed hitting offense. Maisto’s performance was boosted by the Dragon offense in the fourth. Kenny Hill ripped an RBI double down the left-field line scoring Darien McLemore, who reached after being hit by a pitch. Tyler Barnes followed with a double, scoring Hill for a 2-0 lead. Carroll added a run in the fifth and finished with three hits (all doubles) in the game.
Carroll (22-10) advances to face El Paso Montwood (34-2) is a best-of-three series beginning Friday at Midland’s Citibank Ballpark, home to the Double-A Midland Rockhounds minor league team. Montwood is coming off a series sweep against El Paso Americas. The winner of this series faces the winner of L.D. Bell-Arlington Martin next week for a berth to the state tournament. This marks Carroll’s deepest playoff run since reaching the 5A state final in 2008.
Carroll (22-10) vs. El Paso Montwood (34-2) – Class 5A Region I Semifinals
Game 1: 7 p.m., Friday, Midland’s Citibank Ballpark
Game 2: 11 a.m., Saturday, Midland’s Citibank Ballpark
Game 3: (if necessary), 30 minutes following Game 2
Tuesday became rebound day in District 7-5A competition for Dragon baseball and Lady Dragon softball. The Dragons blanked Keller Central 6-0 as left-handed pitcher Greg Maisto threw a one-hitter in a complete-game performance at Dragon Field. Maisto also had 13 strikeouts. Drew Brown led the Dragons with two of their five hits and three RBI. The Dragons also took sole possession of first place in 7-5A with Saginaw’s victory against Fossil Ridge. Carroll (16-9, 9-3) returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday at Saginaw. The victory was a needed lift for the Dragons after suffering a loss last Friday at Coppell.
Lady Dragons Silence Saginaw
The Lady Dragons bounced back after two district losses with a 6-1 victory against Saginaw. Carroll improved to 8-5 in 7-5A. The Lady Dragons are in fourth place in 7-5A and have a one-game lead on fifth-place Coppell. The top four teams advance to the postseason. Carroll can clinch a playoff berth with a victory Friday in the regular season finale at 7 p.m. vs. Denton Guyer at Bob Jones Park in Southlake. The Lady Dragons had 12 hits in the win against Saginaw and were led by Alex Schneider’s three hits, including two triples. Lauren Heintzelman also led Carroll with three RBI. Schneider picked up the victory on the mound and had seven strikeouts.