Freeman, Spartans stop Little Elm to advance to regional quarterfinal
JUSTIN - For the second consecutive time in the playoffs, Centennial junior pitcher Brayden Freeman was dazzling on the mound.
Staked to an early 2-0 lead, Freeman tossed a complete-game four-hitter as the Spartans defeated Little Elm, 3-1, Friday afternoon for a series-clinching win in the team’s best-of-three area-round playoff series at Justin Northwest. It was Centennial’s second straight playoff sweep.
The Spartans (25-10) will take on Lake Dallas in a best-of-three regional quarterfinal series at TCU’s Lupton Stadium. Game 1 will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The second game of the series will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and deciding third game if needed is slated for 1 p.m.
It will be Centennial’s third trip to the quarterfinals. In 2017, the Spartans dropped a three-game series to Mansfield Legacy, 2-1, and were swept by West in 2012.
Freeman struck out three, walked one and allowed one run.
After Centennial added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a Seth DeLaRosa run-scoring single, the Lobos (16-15-1) attempted a rally in the seventh.
Logan Kohler singled to open the first and moved to second on a ground out. With two out, Kohler scored on Ethan Winfrey’s single to center. Freeman halted the rally by getting Andres Armentero to pop up to end the game.
In the first, Miguel Santos singled with one out and moved to third on Gabe Irwin’s double. The Spartans went up 1-0 on Jacob Meador’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.
Centennial added another run in the second when DeLaRosa singled and eventually scored on Dawson Barnes sacrifice fly to left field.