Stout defense hallmark of Arlington Martin baseball

Posted Monday, Jun. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A lot has to fall into place to still be playing Texas high school baseball in June and perhaps Arlington Martin knows that as well as anyone.

The Warriors (37-6) will make the trek down Interstate 35 to Round Rock this week to play in the UIL state tournament for a second consecutive season, where they will face Fort Bend Dulles at noon Friday in the Class 5A semifinals at Dell Diamond.

Among the factors that has Martin in position to win its first state title in 20 years is its defense.

The Warriors’ fielding percentage in 11 postseason games is .975, up from .942 in the regular season despite the higher stakes and pressure.

After committing a pair of uncharacteristic errors in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Southlake Carroll, the Warriors made some spectacular defensive plays late to complete the two-game sweep.

Martin coach Curt Culbertson said after a first-inning throwing error, Daniel Lingua — who won Game 1 on the mound — played a terrific game at third base and Anthony Lyons saved at least one run in right field.

“It was shaky at first, the first batter of the game we overthrew a ball,” Martin coach Curt Culbertson said. “Luckily that error didn’t hurt us and Lingua came back and made some down the line, backhand plays that were really nice. Then our right fielder made two running line drive catches that saved us.

“We made some big plays in some really high-pressured situations.”

Ace in the hole

Postseason baseball is all about pitching and when Martin needs a win, it hands the ball to Turner Larkins.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior right-hander is 13-0 on the season with a 1.31 ERA and 124 strikeouts.

Larkins has stepped it up in the playoffs with four wins and a save. He’s also helping the cause at the plate this postseason with a .316 average and a home run.

Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JohnsonJarret

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