6A State Semifinal: Arlington Martin 3 Laredo Alexander 2

“Good to score a run, good to win a game,” was Martin Head Baseball Coach Curt Culbertson’s comments after the game referencing two recent State Semifinal losses, a 6-0 loss to Cy Ranch in 2012 and a 3-0 loss to Ft Bend Dulles in 2013.

In 2015, Coach Culbertson and the Martin Warriors found ways to score runs and advanced to the 6A State Championship Game with a 3-2 hard fought win over Laredo Alexander.

Alexander jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four innings after a 2nd inning Home Run by Texas A&M bound Alan Campero and two doubles in the fourth inning by Damian Rodriguez and Ramon Ballina.

But Martin struck back in the top of the 5th with an infield single by Tristen Lutz and a double by Aaron Fanning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Tony Defilippo hit a dribbler to the pitcher which scored an aggressive running Lutz from 3rd. On the next pitch sophomore Josh Avery sacrificed Fanning home with a perfect bunt to the 1st base side, tying the game at 2-2.

The game remained 2-2 until the top of the 7th. Aaron Fanning singled and advanced to 2B on error in the outfield. Defilippo sacrificed Fanning over to 3rd to set up another opportunity for the young 3B Avery. On a 1-1 pitch, Avery lined a single past a drawn in infield to score Fanning, giving Martin a 3-2 lead. Avery was 1-2 with 2 RBIs. Aaron Fanning was 2-3 with a double and scored 2 runs

Eric Walker, who seemed to get stronger as the game went along, got a fly out and two ground outs in the 7th to give Arlington Martin the berth in the championship game. Walker (14-0) gave up 2 runs on only 6 hits with 1 BB and 1 strikeout.

This was the last game for Alexander Head Coach Mario Garcia who announced his retirement at the end of the year earlier in the season. Sr Chipper Garcia is the son of Coach Garcia.

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