Written by Corbett Smith
Unlikely hero gives Arlington Martin sweep of Southlake Carroll
GRAND PRAIRIE — Colton Hoisager signed his first autograph, then skittered up an electrical conduit in socked feet to pose for a picture with a young fan on the top of Arlington Martin’s dugout.
An unlikely hero, the junior designated hitter still looked surprised at what he’d just pulled off at QuikTrip Park — “probably the biggest hit of my career,” he said.
Hoisager hit a series-clinching, two-run double into left field as Arlington Martin rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Southlake Carroll, 4-1. Martin (36-7-1) swept the Class 5A Region I finals and advanced to the UIL state baseball tournament for the second straight season.
Before his final at-bat, Hoisager had struck out both times against Carroll starter Ben Leeper.
“He was blowing his fastball by me,” Hoisager said. “I knew that last time, he’d go first-pitch fastball, and he made a mistake and left it up.”
Until the sixth, it didn’t look like Martin would get much against Leeper. He had allowed two hits through five innings and registered his eighth strikeout to start the sixth.
But things fell apart for Carroll (34-6-1) after that, much as in Game 1 — when Carroll committed two costly sixth-inning errors in a 2-1 loss.
An error and a wild pitch prompted Carroll to intentionally load the bases to avoid Martin’s No. 4 hitter, Anthony Lyons, and set-up the potential for an inning-ending double play. Daniel Lingua tied the game with a sacrifice fly, and Landon Sackett followed two batters later with an RBI single.
Martin starter Turner Larkins (13-0) ended this year’s rematch as he did in last year’s regional final, getting Carroll star Kenny Hill out. Battling a back strain, Larkins threw 123 pitches, allowing just five hits and walking in Carroll’s only run.
Larkins didn’t get an opportunity to pitch last year when his team lost in the 5A semifinals. He said he’s ready for a shot in Round Rock.
“I’m pumped,” Larkins said. “I think this team is ready for it, and I think ultimately we are going to win both games at state.”
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN.