Prosper junior Cole Giametta raises his index finger after hitting a two-run home run in the Eagles’ 8-6 come-from-behind win over Flower Mound in Game 1 of a Class 6A bi-district playoff series on Thursday in Flower Mound.
FLOWER MOUND – With the Prosper baseball team trailing Flower Mound by two runs in the seventh inning in Thursday’s Class 6A bi-district playoff game, Eagles head coach Scott Holder didn’t say much to his players. The message that he had for his Eagles was to attack and win the ballgame.
Having to play from behind is nothing new for Prosper. The Eagles dug out of a 2-4 start to begin District 5-6A play and went 6-2 in their last six games to clinch a playoff berth during the final week of the regular season.
Prosper played with that same type of desperation in an 8-6 victory in eighth innings over Flower Mound. The Eagles scored two runs in the seventh on a single from sophomore Kaden Robardey and a sacrifice bunt by junior Cole Giametta to tie the score. Then in the eighth inning, a bunt by senior Lincoln Skinner was misplayed by Flower Mound, allowing the go-ahead runs to score to give Prosper a two-run lead.
“This whole season, this team has battled injuries and dug themselves a hole early in district,” Holder said. “They had to battle to get here. Iron sharpens iron. They had to toughen up. It’s a tough group anyways. They’re going to fight and not back down from anybody. I told them what we went through the course of the season is only going to make you stronger.”
The two teams traded punch for punch in the early-going.
Prosper stole the momentum after Flower Mound got only one run out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first inning. That run came courtesy of an RBI single by junior third baseman Josh Glaser, which gave the Jaguars a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles made solid contact with the ball all night, and it was Robardey that got the Prosper offense in a good groove. Robardey doubled to lead off the top of the second then scored on a two-run home run by Giametta for a 2-1 Prosper lead. Robardey went 3 for 4 with two RBI to pace the Eagles.
The two offenses continued to trade blows, some of it being attributed to a lack of strikes thrown by the two teams. It was a common theme throughout the contest as the Eagles and Jaguars both had less than 60% of their pitches go for strikes.
After Prosper tied the score at 4 after a bases-loaded walk by Robardey and an RBI sacrifice fly by Giametta in the top of the third, Flower Mound proceeded to take advantage of some miscues by Prosper. Junior Sam Distel scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the third and junior Sam Erickson touched home plate on a botched pickoff attempt at first base in the fourth inning for a 6-4 Flower Mound lead.
In need of someone to stabilize the game, Prosper got exactly that from junior Aiden White. He was charged with the error on the botched pickoff attempt at first base, but White proceeded to get in a groove. He allowed no runs and just two hits with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings of relief pitching. Flower Mound was held without a run over the game’s final four innings.
“That was huge,” Holder said of White. “Aiden hadn’t got a lot of mound work for us in the last couple of weeks. He got out of some big jams. That was big for him to come in after a couple of weeks of being cold turkey. He didn’t have any outings, but he came through for us.”
White’s pitching gave Prosper’s offense a chance to mount a late comeback.
Flower Mound was later just three outs away from taking Game 1 on its home field. But Prosper had other ideas. The Eagles used a disciplined approach while in the batter’s box to get to two of the best pitchers in the area in Jaguars juniors Zack James and Josh Glaser. Robardey hit a single into center field in the top of the seventh and Giametta followed with the game-tying RBI bunt.
Prosper used some small ball in the eighth inning to take the lead for good. After a fielding error by Flower Mound’s infield on a bunt by Prosper senior Jacob Nelson, the Jaguars had trouble on the ensuing bunt by Skinner. Two runs scored on the throwing error and the Eagles grabbed an 8-6 lead.
“I was just trying to move runners into scoring position for Luke (Billings),” Holder said. “He was on deck. If Lincoln gets a bunt down anywhere, he has a really good chance. He has good speed and got a chance to beat the play out.”
Prosper can close out Flower Mound on its home field at 7:30 tonight in Game 2. If necessary, Game 3 will be played at noon Saturday at Richardson ISD field.
Extra, extra: See the best photos from Prosper's 8-6 win over Flower Mound
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