First pitch for Game 3 is scheduled for 6 p.m., today at Jaguar Field. the winner advances to a state quarterfinal-round series May 15-16 against No. 2-state ranked Gainesville, which advanced by sweeping West Lauren's 9-3 and 15-0 earlier this week.
“We showed a lot of grit in the first game to get the W,” said Spalding head coach Mickey Moody. “We came out and scratched out two runs in the first inning of the next game and got up 6-2 and we had Carrollton on its heels a little bit, but then we got complacent we were going to win... and didn't bury them when we needed to.”
Carrollton, which trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the fourth, plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning before adding another three in the aforementioned sixth inning as SHS used three pitchers in Game 2.
“The bottom line is if our pitchers locate and throw strikes, we win,” said Moody. “Through the middle and late innings we didn't throw strikes and let them back in it.”
The opener was a stark contrast for Spalding, which got a complete-game effort from Powell Krepps in a game that ended when Parker Powell drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth to lift No. 10-ranked Spalding High past Carrollton 8-7 Thursday in Game 1 of a second-round series in the Class AAA state baseball playoffs at Jaguar Field. It was a topsy-turvy ending to a game with five lead changes and three ties.
While Spalding (22-9) led early it had to rally on the strength of Austin Smith’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. But perhaps the biggest accolade of game, however, should be reserved for Krepps who threw all eight innings against the Trojans (18-12) for the win.
“You can't say enough about him,” said coach Moody. “He has been our ace all year.”
Krepps ended the game, allowed six runs, four earned, on seven hits and seven walks while fanning five for his third win this postseason.
Spalding broke a scoreless tie when a run scored on a throwing error in the bottom of he second before Chase Pruitt followed with a run-scoring grounder on the next play to stake the home team to a 2-0 lead. Region 6-AAA runner-up Carrollton responded by scoring two runs on one hit, a walk and two errors in the top of the third to tie the game at 2-all — the first of many counter punches by both teams throughout the game.
The Jags had five consecutive hits — the highlights being RBI singles by Pruitt and Michael Martin — topped by a run-scoring error in the bottom fifth to gain momentum and carry a 5-2 lead into the fourth. It was short-lived as Carrollton, once again, answered a Spalding advance with a counter punch of its own, scoring four runs on three hits, three walks and an error to take a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Casey Moody hit a line-drive, leadoff stand-up double down the left field line and Robert Green followed with a bunt single to chase Carrollton starter Tanner Roach from the game and set the table for Krepps’ run-scoring grounder three plays later against Trojans’ middle reliever Davis Marlar to tie the game 6-all heading into the sixth.
That’s where Carrollton used two walks, a sacrifice and a run-scoring grounder to take a 7-6 lead.
The lead held until the bottom of the seventh when Moody led off and one-bounced a shot over the left fielder’s head and against the wall for his second stand-up double of the game. Green then sacrificed Moody over to third before two plays later, Smith, the first to face closer Dylan Ross, hit an RBI single up the middle to send the game into extra innings.
In extra innings, SHS marched Krepps back out to the mound. He responded admirably, fanning the first and getting the second to ground out to third before the third batter reached on a single. Krepps then got the fourth to ground out to third to send the game into the bottom of the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, Pruitt led off and reached on a throwing error before Anson Link reached on a bunt single and Michael Martin drew a walk to load the bases for Powell who worked the count before watching the fourth ball wall off the plate outside.