Walk helps Plano get running start to finish sweep of Carroll

McKINNEY — Things didn’t look good for Plano’s Ryan McCarthy in his second at-bat Saturday afternoon.

Down 0-2 in the count, he risked being the second out for Plano, which already trailed 1-0 in the fourth inning.

But despite admittedly being in a slump, he prevailed.

McCarthy eventually walked, sparking a two-run inning, as Plano won, 3-1, in Game 2, completing a sweep of Southlake Carroll in a Class 5A Region I quarterfinal series at McKinney Boyd.

“He kept throwing me curves, so I laid off them and he walked me,” McCarthy said.

Plano (29-6), returning to the playoffs after a year’s absence, advanced to play the Lubbock Coronado-El Paso Franklin winner next week in the regional semifinals.

Eric Gilstrap tripled in McCarthy and scored on Ryan Thomas’ RBI single, giving Plano a 2-1 lead.

Southlake Carroll (29-8) led 1-0 after Kyle Bailey’s bases-loaded single in the third. But Carroll managed only a hit and no runs afterward off the combined pitching of McCarthy (8-0) and Tripp Cecil.

McCarthy scattered five hits over five innings for the win, with Cecil retiring six of the eight he faced for the save.

”Our pitching has been great all year,” Plano coach Rick Robertson said. “Ryan battled and got out of some tough situations. Once we got that [insurance] run in the sixth, it was a no-brainer to bring in Tripp, who did what he has done since returning from a broken foot — pitch lights out.”

Plano got an insurance run in the sixth on Connor Reed’s bases-loaded grounder.

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