Written by Corbett Smith
Arlington Martin baseball rallies past Southlake Carroll to take Game 1
GRAND PRAIRIE – Leave it to Arlington Martin to finally get to Southlake Carroll’s Tyler Alexander.
Last year’s regional champions showed their resilience against Carroll’s star left-hander, rallying for two runs in the sixth inning to grab Game 1 of the Class 5A Region I final, 2-1.
Martin (35-7-1) gave Alexander his first loss of the season – despite 13 strikeouts for the TCU signee, expected to be an early-round selection in next week’s MLB amateur draft.
Alexander (12-1) came into the game with 164 strikeouts on the season, the most of any pitcher in the area. Twice in the early innings, Alexander had stranded Martin runners by ringing up three strikeouts.
Carroll (34-5-1) opened the scoring in the second inning; Chris Altimont hit a stand-up triple to centerfield, and was driven in by an opposite-field bloop single by sophomore first baseman Nic Motley.
But Martin finally broke through Alexander’s dominance in the sixth – thanks to two Carroll errors.
Josh Watson hit a 0-2 pitch right off the left-field line for a double, and scored on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Anthony Lyons. Carroll third baseman Kenny Hill fielded Lyons’ bunt, but sailed his throw over first base. Lyons later scored on another errant throw on a bunt attempt, as Motley attempted to come home with a sacrifice bunt from Landon Sackett.
In the bottom of the seventh, with runners on first and third and one out, Joe Heineman was called on to pull off a suicide squeeze against Martin starter Daniel Lingua. But the pitch was in the dirt, and courtesy runner Barry Casey was tagged up the third-base line by Martin catcher Matt Waller. Heineman struck out end the game.
The win, coming against Alexander, will be a big boost for Martin – expected to pitch its unbeaten ace Turner Larkins in Game 2.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN