The former No. 1 ranked Prosper baseball team’s season ended in the third round of the playoffs against Frisco Wakeland. It’s the second season in a row Prosper has been eliminated in the regional quarterfinals after winning the state title in 2015.
“This is a great group,” Prosper head coach Rick Carpenter said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Game 1: Wakeland 7, Prosper 4
In the first game of the best-of-three series on Thursday, May 18, at Jesuit College Prep, a comeback attempt fell short in the late innings for the Eagles.
Wakeland put up four runs in the top of the first inning against Prosper starting pitcher and senior Jamie Janco. The lefty was pulled in the second inning and allowed a total of three hits and four walks.
Junior Cameron Marchant relieved Janco on the mound and put together four shutout innings. During that span, Prosper scored four runs to tie the game heading into the sixth. Zach Wilson had a home run, a double and two RBIs from the leadoff spot while seniors Cade McBride and Kyler Grimsley drove in one run apiece.
“I thought Marchant came in and did a great job,” Carpenter said. “He just ran out of gas and ran into a bit of trouble there at the end.”
Marchant allowed two walks to begin the sixth and was replaced by junior Hunter Prideaux, who allowed both inherited runners to score. Wakeland added another insurance run with a leadoff home run in the seventh inning to take a three-run lead.
Despite being unable to put together a rally at the plate, Carpenter remained proud of his team.
“We don’t give up — tonight showed that,” Carpenter said. “Now we’ve got our backs against the wall.”
Game 2: Wakeland 2, Prosper 1
Small ball proved to be vital on Friday, May 19, at John Paul II High School.
Wakeland plated the game-winning run in the sixth inning. Prosper starting pitcher and junior Braden Carmichael had retired 10 consecutive batters but allowed a walk with two outs. That runner proceeded to steal second base and was driven in by JT Thompson on a line drive single to center field.
Carmichael was dominant up to that point. Wakeland’s first run came in the second inning on a suicide squeeze bunt, driving in a runner from third base.
“(Carmichael) came out today and did not disappoint,” Carpenter said. “We got exactly what we wanted out of him.”
Prosper’s best opportunity to put runs on the board was in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Jaden Ford hit a sharp grounder up the middle to score the Eagles first run. Wakeland managed to keep the ball from getting to the outfield and followed up with a diving catch in foul territory to end the inning.
“We just couldn’t get the timely hit,” Carpenter said. “A lot of that had to do with them. They made some great plays around the field.”
The late innings were once again unkind to the Prosper offense. None of the final eight batters for Prosper could reach base.
Wakeland was the No. 2 team in the coach’s association 5A state rankings headed into the third round. Prosper was ranked No. 5.
“It was such a pleasure coaching this team,” Carpenter said. “I’ve had very few teams in my career that I didn’t enjoy being around. This was one of my favorites, for sure.”