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Coppell baseball erases first-inning deficit to take Game 1



COPPELL, TX – As the Coppell baseball team fell behind by two runs to Prosper in the first inning, the Cowboys took solace in the fact that they were able to work through that same situation just six days prior.

Coppell rallied with seven straight runs after trailing Jesuit by three runs in the third inning to close out the Rangers in two games in the area round. The Cowboys didn’t have as tall of a mountain to climb against the Eagles to open a Region 1-6A quarterfinal series Thursday.

Sophomore Tanner Sever drove in the third of three runs for Coppell in the top of the second inning with a single, and senior Will Rodman bounced back from an inauspicious start to throw six scoreless innings in a row to lift the Cowboys to a 3-2 win over the Eagles at Lake Dallas High School.

Prosper senior Chase Pendley led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and that led to a two-run home run by junior Easton Carmichael, giving the Eagles a quick 2-0 lead.

The two runs that were scored by the Eagles in the first inning denied Rodman of the opportunity to pitch a fifth straight complete-game shutout. But, Rodman quickly refocused and didn’t allow Prosper to score another run over the game’s final six innings.

“I think that giving up those two runs aggravated him,” said Ryan Howard, Coppell head coach. “With the streak that he was on, he wanted to continue it. But, he also understands that this is baseball and things happen. He settled in and got into a rhythm.”

And the next time that Rodman came back on the mound to pitch, he had a lead to work with.

It all started with a pitch that hit senior David Jeon and was followed with a single by junior Walker Polk, putting runners on first and second bases with no outs in the second inning. Jeon would come around to score on an error – one of two errors committed by Prosper in the inning.

Coppell was only getting started.

Senior Tony Vernars tied the score at 2-2 with an RBI ground-out. Two batters later, Sever singled through the right side of the infield to put Coppell on top, 3-2.

“It was important for us to bounce back immediately and get the momentum,” Howard said. “It was a great environment. A lot of Prosper fans were there. A lot of Coppell fans showed up, too. It was a great environment for high school baseball. That is what high school baseball is all about. (Prosper head coach Scott) Holder would probably say the same thing.”

The news even got better for Coppell as senior first baseman and pitcher Chayton Krauss returned to the lineup Thursday after missing the Cowboys’ area-round series against Jesuit with an illness. He went 1-for-3 against Prosper.

“That’s huge for us,” Howard said. “He’s our leader. He’s our captain. He wanted to be out there with us worse than anybody. This guy is a great teammate, moves being around the team. His teammates were really happy to have him back, and he is an important part of our ballclub.”