Written by Corbett Smith
With Arlington Martin rallying, L.D. Bell’s Blake Henderson closes door
COPPELL — This season, Arlington Martin had 17 come-from-behind wins.
And down by a run with two runners on and one out in the sixth, it looked like it had a fighting chance for another.
Hurst L.D. Bell pitcher Blake Henderson just wouldn’t give in.
Henderson registered his fifth strikeout of the game, getting out of the inning with a pop out on a full count. Henderson struck out two more in the seventh, pitching a complete game for a 3-1 win in Game 1 of the best-of-3 Class 5A Region I semifinal.
Henderson leaned on his curveball in the later innings, getting five strikeouts on the pitch in the final four innings.
“I feel like I had a lot of command on my curveball,” Henderson said. “They weren’t squaring it up.”
L.D. Bell (22-12-1) took advantage of an error by Arlington Martin on its first fielding play. Cullen Gassaway drove in the first of his two RBIs with a sacrifice fly, scoring Gavin Gregory.
“Anytime you get momentum in the early innings, that’s huge,” Gassaway said.
Henderson, a junior transfer from Justin Northwest, has transformed himself from an unknown to Bell’s staff ace in short order. He’s won all four of his playoff starts.
“He’s worked his tail off to make himself into a quality pitcher,” L.D. Bell coach Paul Gibson said.
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