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Marcus rallies for Game 1 playoff series win over SLC
May 4, 2012By David McNabb of VYPE MAGAZINE - DFW
FLOWER MOUND _ Flower Mound Marcus got the strong pitching expected from senior lefthander Colin Poche’, but it was a 380-foot double to center field by junior DH Matt Holcombe which keyed a sixth-inning rally in a 3-2 victory over Southlake Carroll in the opener of a best-of-3 Class 5A bi-district playoff.
Marcus (21-9) trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth, but junior Austin Laird started a one-out rally with a single and eventually scored on a throwing error. Freshman first baseman Brendan Venter kept a two-out rally going with a single and Marcus bunt single tied it at 2-2 with two outs. With a runner on second and two outs, Holcombe hit a towering double to dead center.
“It’s like we’ve been playing one game playoffs in our district since April 10,” Marcus coach Dustin Sykora said. “We tip our hat to our district because it gets us ready. We preach mental toughness and playing until the last pitch. And we knew we’d have to do that to beat Carroll.”
Carroll (18-10-1) was cruising with a 2-0 with junior lefthander Tyler Alexander totaling 13 strikeouts through 5 2/3 innings before letting loose a wild pitch and having to exit with a wrist injury with a runner on third and a 2-1 lead. Winners of District 8-5A, Carroll had quickly jumped to a lead against Marcus’ heralded Poche”, an Arkansas signee but expected to be a high round draft pick in June.
With more than a dozen professional scouts watching, Carroll broke Poche’s 59 inning earned run scoreless streak in the top of the first. Senior shortstop and Kansas State signee Ben Sego belted a double off the wall in leftcenter and scored on a solid single to left by No. 4 hitter Darien McLemore, who had his dad, former Texas Ranger and current Fox Sports Southwest analyst Mark McLemore watching from the stands as well.
Carroll took a 2-0 run lead in the fifth inning as first baseman Quinn Brankin doubled and Carroll scored with a squeeze bunt by rightfielder Drew Brown.
With a 3-2 lead after six, Poche’ notched his 10th and 11th strikeouts for the first two outs in Carroll’s seventh and the last out on a grounder to short.
In Game 2, Marcus plays at Carroll at 4 p.m. Friday with a third game if needed on Saturday in Grapevine.