The Prosper baseball team, ranked No. 1 in the state since district play began, may not maintain their spot after two close games this week.
Prosper 5, McKinney North 0
Prosper (22-3) opened the week by extending its win streak to 10 games with a victory at home on Tuesday, April 4.
It was the team’s third shutout in a row and ninth of the season. Starting pitcher Jacob Cosner and Jamie Janco in relief combined to allow only one hit all game. Cosner threw 4.2 innings, struck out five and walked four. Janco finished by getting the last seven outs of the game, five of which were strikeouts.
Offensively, Prosper made the most out of its opportunities, scoring five runs on just five hits. Not one player in the lineup had more than one base knock and Trendan Starkes was the only hitter to get an extra-base hit.
“We took advantage of a couple mistakes they made, a couple walks, and got some people on base,” head coach Rick Carpenter said. “We haven’t been getting many hits lately.
The game was still close headed into the sixth inning with Prosper up 2-0, but the Eagles plated three insurance runs to put the game out of reach.
McKinney North 7, Prosper 5
Friday’s rematch against McKinney North flipped the script, putting an end to Prosper’s undefeated district record.
The Eagles took an early 2-0 lead in the second, but things went south shortly after. McKinney North scored all seven of its runs in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Brandon Carmichael along with Spencer Cochran allowed the runs to score, combining to allow eight hits, two walks and only striking out two.
“It was the first game we’ve played where the pitching staff finally got roughed up,” Carpenter said. “Sometimes that happens.”
Prosper’s offense responded with two runs of their own in the next half-inning and had a big chance to tie it in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, McKinney North made a diving stop in the infield and turned a crucial double play to prevent a big rally.
“I can’t look at a crystal ball, but I really do feel strongly that we (would have) won the game if that ball got through,” Carpenter said.
Jaden Ford shined at the plate for the Eagles, notching three base hits in three at-bats.
Prosper still holds a comfortable lead in the district standings, but the Eagles were well over halfway towards keeping an undefeated record heading into the playoffs. Carpenter said as long as his guys bounce back, it won’t be a big deal.
“Anybody can beat you on a given night,” Carpenter said. “You’ve got to play a lot of games to figure out who the best team is in the long haul.”