Southlake Carroll rallies past Fort Worth Paschal to avoid first-round upset

Posted Friday, May. 02, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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In the early going Thursday night, Paschal looked like it might pull off the biggest baseball playoff upset by a Fort Worth school in nearly 20 years.

But a big fifth inning bailed out the home team. The four-run frame propelled Southlake Carroll to a 5-2 come-from-behind victory in a one-game Class 5A bi-district playoff at Carroll Senior High.

Carroll advances to play El Paso El Dorado or Abilene in the area round.

A big first inning by the Panthers’ bats and a strong first four innings by Paschal ace Hunter Spielman staked the Panthers to a 2-1 lead.

The Dragons (26-4), who got on the board in the bottom of the third on a Garrett Hale RBI single, got a one-out triple by Drew Brown to spark the fifth-inning rally.

Brown scored on a Paschal error on a ground ball hit by Garrett Hale to tie the score at 2. Paschal (14-19) was unable to stop Carroll from there.

Joe Heineman and Kevin Cramer hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Dragons a 4-2 lead. That ended the night for Spielman (5-4), who notched seven strikeouts in the first four innings. Kameron Ramage capped the four-run rally by hitting the team’s third consecutive run-scoring single for a 5-2 advantage.

Dragons ace Ben Leeper (10-1) earned the victory by giving up two runs in six innings and striking out 10. Heineman earned the save.

Paschal jumped on Leeper early. Reese McDonald smacked a double down the left-field line on the game’s first pitch. He crossed home plate on a one-out RBI single from Colin Merritt for a 1-0 Panthers lead. Will Floyd added to the lead on a two-out RBI single to right.

In 1995, a 12-12 Class 5A Fort Worth Trimble Tech team beat a powerhouse Arlington Martin 2-1 after heavy rains on Friday forced a one-game playoff on Saturday.

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