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Southlake Carroll falls to Plano West in title game

ROUND ROCK – Southlake Carroll rallied in the fourth inning, but could not repeat the effort in the sixth and seventh frames as Plano West defeated the Dragons 10-8 Saturday to claim the 2008 UIL Class 5A state baseball title at Dell Diamond.

Trailing by a run to start the sixth inning, the Wolves (40-2) took a 9-7 lead as Carroll pitchers Ethan Cunningham and Tanner Toal struggled to throw strikes. Plano West had just one hit in the inning - a Kale Kiser run-scoring double - but had three walks and a sacrifice fly to help get three runs.

Carroll (23-19) cut the deficit to 9-8 with a Zack Bellenger single that brought home Ronnie Mitchell. However the Dragons left two runners on. Nobody reached base in the bottom of the seventh.

Still, the Tarrant County school had an impressive 2007-08 school year. Carroll won girls team titles in cross country, soccer and golf.

Trailing 5-1 after the Wolves' Donald Plant blasted a 430-foot shot over the bullpen in left centerfield, Carroll took a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Carroll got two runners on, and Vincent Winter followed with a bunt that Plano West pitcher Andrew Blum fielded and threw wide to third base, scoring Toal to make it 5-2. The Dragons got another run, ending Blum's day, and tied the game off reliever Drew Johnson before an out was recorded.

When it was over, the Dragons took a two-run lead and batted around. Plano West had as many errors (five) as runs at that point. Wolves miscues included a dropped ball on a throw to the plate, a missed tag on a sure-fire double play, and a throw that pulled the first baseman off the bag.

The Wolves cut the deficit to 7-6 in the fifth, with Jason Coats coming home on a Tyler Bruce double.