GRAPEVINE — Mansfield Legacy found its groove at the plate in the top of the fourth inning Thursday night. But by that time it faced too steep of a climb.
Frisco Liberty scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning and held on for a 6-3 victory in Game 1 of a Class 4A regional semifinal series at Grapevine High School. Game 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the same field.
The early outburst by Liberty (25-9) was aided by two Broncos errors. J.T. VanGelder led off with a walk and scored on a single by Hayden Parker for a 1-0 lead. Jake Akin’s single to center field scored Clay Crews.
Two more runs came in on a grounder to second by Trey Johnson with the bases loaded. Parker scored easily from third on the ground ball. Andy Latham, who reached on an error, came home after an errant throw sailed past first base.
Legacy (24-12), which had no hits in the first three innings, knocked Redhawks starting pitcher Dan Hawk out of the game in the fourth. Corey Murray reached on an infield single to lead things off. Robbie Stricklin followed with a single, and a deep flyout by Karson Houston moved the runners to second and third with one out.
Designated hitter Matthew Dickey lined a two-run double to deep right-center, cutting the Liberty lead in half. But relief pitcher Michael Cantrell, who earned the victory, cooled off the Broncos’ bats, giving up no runs on one hit in 2 2/3 innings. He retired the Broncos in order in the top of the seventh to end Legacy’s comeback.
Legacy pitcher Branden Bohuslav settled down after some early struggles to retire the final 11 batters he faced. The senior gave up five hits and two earned runs and struck out eight in six innings.
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