The Prosper baseball team, ranked as the No. 1 5A team in the state by txhighschoolbaseball.com, earned two wins over Little Elm in the first week of their district schedule.
Prosper 4, Little Elm 3
The Eagles (17-2) first win came on the road Tuesday, Mar. 14. It came down to the final inning, as Prosper headed into the seventh up 4-1. Little Elm then got three straight hits to load the bases with no outs, setting things up perfectly for a comeback.
Prosper held off the Lobos off just long enough, allowing only two runs to cross and getting the third out before Little Elm could tie the game.
“They’ve got some enthusiasm, yet they’re under control, confident and determined,” coach Rick Carpenter said about his team. “It’s really a fun thing to watch. I’m really proud of them for that. They don’t panic.”
Prosper 5, Little Elm 4
The second matchup between the two teams was just as dramatic as the first. Prosper fell behind multiple times but got a pair of runs across the plate in the bottom of the seventh, earning a 5-4 walk-off victory at home.
Carpenter said he had a meeting in the dugout before they went up to bat and was happy with the demeanor and mindset of his players.
“They had no fear in their eyes,” Carpenter said. “Looking around at them, I couldn’t tell the future. I didn’t know if we were going to win, but I knew we weren’t going to choke.”
It was the second walk-off win in the past two weeks for Prosper. Carpenter says he’s confident in his team’s ability to continue coming out on top in close games.
“Anytime you do it over and over again, it just builds your confidence that it can continue to happen,” Carpenter said.
The week marked the beginning of a new scheduling format. Prosper will play the same district opponent twice each week, once at home and once on the road, until the playoffs begin in May.
Going forward, teams will not have the luxury of using their best pitcher against the same team twice in a season. Instead, rotations will be spaced out to give players the proper amount of rest. Carpenter said he’s never seen a format like this throughout his career.
Despite the schedule, Prosper looks to maintain its No. 1 ranking as long as possible. The team enjoys the notoriety, but still has its eyes set on bigger things ahead.
“It means nothing other than the fact that it’s on a piece of paper and the person in charge respects our ability,” Carpenter said. “It doesn’t mean anything unless you’re ranked No. 1 at the end of the year.”