CORINTH – The Lake Dallas baseball team entered Tuesday’s game against Birdville in sole possession of first place in District 6-5A. But, Falcons head coach Chris Haney was quick to point out the parity within the district.
Although the Falcons will remain in first place – albeit a tie with Grapevine after the Birdville topped Lake Dallas 10-2 on Tuesday — there are other teams on their tail.
Birdville dominated Tuesday’s game from start to finish to notch its fifth straight win overall and fourth straight 6-5A triumph after starting district play 0-3. Grapevine defeated Denton Ryan, 3-2, on Tuesday to tie Lake Dallas’ mark in conference play at 5-2.
“That’s what makes this district so tough,” Haney said. “It’s not the fact that you have these crazy, over-talented teams. You have six or seven teams that are eerily alike.”
And for a Lake Dallas team that seeks to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in the last three years, the Falcons would like nothing more than to move on from Tuesday’s performance.
The game got off to a rough start for Lake Dallas (9-12 overall), and it was a few defensive miscues by the Falcons that allowed Birdville to build momentum.
The Hawks capitalized on Lake Dallas’ inability to locate pitches for strikes, as well as a couple of misreads by Falcon outfielders, to take a 4-0 lead before the offense ever stepped into the batter’s box for their official first at-bat.
Logan Lacey and Will Bush got the scoring started for the Hawks with back-to-back doubles. Two batters later, Bynum Martinez hit a ground-rule RBI double over the left-field wall. Not long after, a throwing error by Lake Dallas increased Birdville’s lead to 4-0.
“You’ve got to give Birdville credit,” Haney said. “They absolutely came out swinging the sticks. You talk about a favorable wind or whatever, but they were getting their swings off. I thought that Zach (Darden) did a pretty good job of sticking in the zone early. He had trouble getting swing-and-miss pitches. Obviously, we made a few bone-headed plays on defense that gave them a few extra chances.
“I think that’s been the story on us all year. When we play a clean brand of baseball, up-tempo baseball, we like our chances. We gave up too many second chances tonight.”
Lake Dallas scraped a run on an error by Birdville in the bottom of the second. Falcon junior Brendan Sorsby hit a high ground ball that was thrown wide of the bag to score senior Walker Davis, who had reached base on a one-out single. But that only cut the deficit to 4-1.
Birdville’s (13-8-1) offense wasn’t done hacking away.
Grant Degollado, Brian Hanson, Lacey and Grant Peart each hit singles as part of a three-run top of the fourth for the Hawks, who stretched their lead over the Falcons to 7-1.
For as well as Birdville made contact with the ball, Lake Dallas struggled to string together hits against Hawks pitcher Parker Hutyra.
Davis crushed a solo home run to lead off the home half of the fourth. Jacob Tipps followed with a single. All of a sudden, the Falcons built a little momentum. But, after a mound visit by Hawks head coach Vance Bonner, Hutyra proceeded to slam the door on Lake Dallas.
Butyra allowed just one base runner over the final 2.2 innings – a walk issued to Tipps with two outs in the sixth – and struck out eight over that span of time. For the game, Butyra struck out 12 and yielded just four hits.
“Early, he worked ahead and was not afraid to throw breaking balls in different counts,” Haney said.