Baseball: Lake Dallas’ success led by senior shortstop

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CORINTH — Sitting at the top of Lake Dallas’ batting lineup, senior shortstop Dalyn Williams has abused opposing pitchers and helpless base paths through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Williams experienced an extended postseason run last season. Now in his last season, the senior leads Lake Dallas’ charge to improve upon last year’s results.

Lake Dallas begins its Class 4A Region I best-of-three regional quarterfinal series against Ryan (22-9) on Friday at Lewisville. Game 1 is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., with Game 2 at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a potential Game 3 following 30 minutes afterward.

On a team full of talented hitters, the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder has wielded the most potent bat on Lake Dallas’ roster.

Through five playoff games, Williams is 9 for 15 with five RBIs, two triples and four walks. On the season, Williams is batting a staggering .516, along with 29 RBIs to pace the Falcons. He also has three of Lake Dallas’ four home runs this season, and is tied for a team-high 10 stolen bases.

“You have to have more than one guy that can hit,” Lake Dallas head coach John Tompkins said. “But when he goes, our team seems to go. There’s a lot of teams that have that one guy, that when they go, the whole team kind of goes and they feed off of that.”

“You have to have more than one guy that can hit,” Lake Dallas head coach John Tompkins said. “But when he goes, our team seems to go. There’s a lot of teams that have that one guy, that when they go, the whole team kind of goes and they feed off of that.”

Lake Dallas (22-12) aims to improve on last year’s regional semifinal appearance, the furthest the Falcons have advanced in the playoffs since their jump to Class 4A in 2005.

Lake Dallas has won four of its five games, and also has been aided by the performances of Tim Drozd, Keenan Wingfield and Jackson Owens.

During a rare light practice for the Falcons on Monday, Williams stood at the edge of the center-field grass near the infield, popping balls up into the air as outfielders worked on their fielding.

The “LD” on Williams’ 3-year-old baseball cap was white at one point, but boasts of different tones of brown after its extended use. With his socks pulled up to his shins, Williams dismissed any claims of ownership of this year’s team.

“I just do whatever it takes,” Williams said as he looked down and kicked around dirt in a small, sweeping motion. “This is not my team. I can play awesome and we can still lose.”

Like almost all right-handed hitters, Williams loves to pull a good fastball and crush it well beyond the left-field wall.

“I think he sees pitches really well,” Ryan head coach Bret Warnack said. “You get behind in the count on him, I think he’s a good, aggressive hitter when he’s ahead in the count. He’s got some power with that he can really hurt you with as well.”

Warnack also praised William’s athletic ability. The shortstop’s legs also made him one of the best quarterbacks in the area. Williams is headed to Dartmouth next fall to play baseball and football.

Whichever the sport, Williams has proved his explosiveness. Teammate and good friend Christian Perez recalls an incredible home run Williams hit in the playoffs last season against Canyon Randall. Perez said he remembers the blast clearing the left-field wall by a good 40 or 50 feet.

“When he goes to the plate, I get excited,” Perez said. “With him, you never know. He could just explode at any at-bat. It’s fun watching him play.”

Baseball is something Williams’ aunts, uncles, grandfather and father all played. The shortstop said he practically grew up with a bat in his hands.

Since he’s been in high school, he’s had the bat in his hands, starting all four years. Tompkins, a fifth-year head coach, was an assistant at Flower Mound for three years and coached players that were selected in the MLB draft. Tompkins hailed Williams has one of the best kids he’s ever coached.

“We knew he was going to play for us because of the way he worked and the way he carried himself,” Tompkins said of Williams’ arrival four years ago. “He’s just a solid kid. He works hard. He’s been like that for four years.”

According to Tompkins, Williams and the rest of the Falcons are performing at their best at the right time, similar to the run Lake Dallas made last season. The Falcons earned the final playoff berth out of District 4-4A with a win in a one-game playoff before making their deep playoff run.

“We’re playing the best baseball we’ve played all year,” Tompkins said. “I think it’s a real resemblance to last year. Kids turn it up to another level when you get on. They wait all year to play for this.”

For the last four years, Williams has been waiting for his chance to go to the state tournament. With the way he and his team have been playing, a trip to Round Rock remains a strong possibility.

BEN BABY can be reached 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is bbaby@dentonrc.com

 


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