Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Late double lifts Frisco Liberty, area's top 4A baseball team, over Frisco
FRISCO – Frisco Liberty third baseman Justin Crider cranked an RBI double to the left-field wall to help the area’s top-ranked 4A team survive an extra-inning scare against No. 6 Frisco, 3-2, on Friday at Smothermon Field.
Crider came up with two outs in the top of the eighth inning and managed to fend off a two-strike pitch foul and take a low ball to keep the at-bat alive.
He sent Brennen Fischer’s 2-2 pitch to the wall, just shy of a home run. The double scored Brian Simpson, who led off the inning with a double of his own.
"He's come such a long way," Liberty coach Scott McGarrh said of Crider. "He's worked so hard and he watches a ton of film."
Frisco went down in order in the bottom half of the inning to end the game.
Liberty (18-3, 4-0), a regional finalist last season, remains perfect in District 9-4A with the victory -- its second close win against Frisco in two weeks.
Simpson had two singles, two RBIs and a run scored for Liberty, and Crider walked and doubled.
Frisco was in a 2-1 hole in the sixth inning against Liberty reliever Josh Ryan, who entered the game having allowed just two earned runs in nearly 30 innings pitched.
Undeterred, Fischer led off the sixth for Frisco with a single to left field, and designated hitter Blake Welch came up three batters later and lined a game-tying single to center. The score remained 2-2 as the teams headed into extra innings.
Frisco starting pitcher Grant Kilmer threw 4 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball before surrendering two runs and two hits in the fifth. Kilmer surrendered just the two runs in 5 1/3 innings and struck out seven.
Liberty starting pitcher Michael Cantrell was just as strong, holding Frisco to one run in 4 1/3 innings. Cantrell struck out five batters and walked three.
"He wasn't that good early, but Cantrell really settled down and pitched into the fifth for us," McGarrh said. "He made some mistakes, but he only gave up the one run."
Frisco was the first team on the board after freshman shortstop Ryan Vilade smashed a solo home run over the left field wall in the second inning.