Written by Matt Wixon
Carroll baseball team bounces back strong from loss, ties for 4-5A lead
KELLER — On a Friday night when a strong wind blew out to right field, the Southlake Carroll baseball team made a strong statement that its season is headed back in the right direction.
Powered by 11 hits and a combined three-hitter by pitchers Joe Heineman and Ben Leeper, Carroll bounced back from a rare loss to beat Keller Fossil Ridge, 6-2, and pull into a tie atop District 4-5A.
“That kind of brought us back to Earth. We had to regroup,” Heineman said of Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Keller. “Ultimately, I think it’s a good thing. For us to bounce back against a team like Fossil Ridge, it shows the kind of team we are.”
Carroll (19-2, 5-1), ranked No. 1 in the area 5A rankings, has been a powerhouse most of the season. But on Tuesday, it managed only two hits in the loss to Keller.
The Dragons surpassed that total in the first inning Friday. Heineman and Drew Brown singled in the first and Anthony Martin gave Carroll a 1-0 lead with a ground ball through the middle of the infield. Heineman drove in two runs with a double in the second inning to give Carroll a 3-0 lead, and Hudson Sanchez pushed the lead to 5-0 with a double in the third. Heineman and Sanchez’s hits were both to right field, where the wind was pushing most hits.
Luis Rivas hit a towering home run to right in the bottom of the third to pull No. 4 Fossil Ridge (16-5, 5-1) within four runs, but it never got closer.
Heineman (6-0) allowed three hits and two runs while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings. Leeper, Carroll’s starter Tuesday, finished the game by striking out four of the six batters he faced.
“Tonight,” Heineman said, “we had our ‘A’ game.”