The Carroll baseball team dropped a second playoff foe last weekend when it defeated Lewisville Hebron in the area round of the postseason to advance to the regional quarterfinals.
The Dragons now find themselves in a very familiar situation as they prepare to take on district rival Coppell in what coach Larry Hughes said promises to be a dogfight of a series.
“Their pitching is outstanding,” Hughes said. “They've got three or four [Division I-] type arms. Our offense will have to score some runs in order to give us a chance. It will be some hard-fought games, just like we had in district ... but I don't think it matters that we had them as a district opponent.”
Carroll will play Coppell at Argyle High School starting Thursday night at 7 p.m. If a third game is required, it will likely be played at Prosper Stadium.
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Carroll defeated Hebron in its area-round series last weekend, and Hughes said that the Hawks were pretty much what he expected them to be heading in.
“The first game, Kevin Cramer threw very well for us,” Hughes said. “He only gave up one run and pitched a complete game. We scratched out a couple of runs and won 2-1. In game two, [Matthew] Canterino didn't have his best stuff, and they got a 7-2 lead. We came back, but they got a big hit late.
“Then in the third game, we hit their number three pretty hard and beat them 15-2. Cole Ramage, our sophomore, who is our number three, pitched an outstanding game against a very good-hitting line up.”
Ross Cadena doubled and hit a home run in the final game of the series, and Eric Cole and Zach Farrar both homered in the game as well.
Drew Davis tripled for the Dragons, and Anthony Martin and Casey Combs each doubled to help lead the way to a Carroll victory in Game 3 of the series.
“There was so much offense, and it was all pretty much spread around,” Hughes said. “We had three home runs and seven extra-base hits out of a total of 15 hits. So we had people driving in a lot of runs.”
Hughes said that he wants his team to show steady improvement throughout the season and be peaking at the right time to make a long run in the playoffs, and said that he believes his team has done a good job of staying with its opponents as the season moves forward.
“We're just competing real well,” Hughes said. “That's the main thing. We've got pretty high expectations. Our goal is to win a state championship, and our kids know that this is it. This is the tournament to do it. We're just really competing well and playing good baseball.”