CORINTH — Dalyn Williams was nowhere to be found as Tuesday night’s game between Lake Dallas and The Colony got underway.
By the time the game ended, Williams made his presence felt loud and clear and almost single-handedly won the game for the Falcons, who beat The Colony 8-7.
Williams, who will play quarterback for Dartmouth next season, was at a university function in Dallas and could not make it back in town for the beginning of the game, but was inserted into the lineup in the second inning.
He struggled in his first two at-bats, but came up big in his final one when he hit a two-strike single to lead off the bottom of the sixth with the score tied 7-7. He then stole second base, moved to third on a sacrifice fly from Jackson Owens and scored on a wild pitch for the game-winner.
“He’s a great player,” Lake Dallas head coach John Tompkins said. “He’s a competitor. He works hard. He struggled a little early because he was out of his routine a little. He re-adjusted and had a huge at-bat with two strikes going the other way. That’s a huge two-strike hit. We were able to manufacture a run there.”
That hit and the subsequent run helped the Falcons escape an unheard of defensive game when they committed four errors and allowed five runs to score on sacrifice bunt attempts by The Colony.
“I’ve never seen anything like that at this level,” Tompkins said.
In the top of the second, The Colony took a 3-0 lead on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Correy Patterson after pitcher Dylan Andrews’ throw sailed over the first baseman, allowing two runs to score.
“The kids were like, ‘Coach we need to bunt,’” Tompkins said. “The ball was soaked. Andrews said he threw the ball way because it was wet. We went through 2 1/2 dozen baseballs tonight. They like to bunt. I give Coach Dean credit. They used it to their advantage.”
The Colony scored three more runs in the fifth inning off another botched throw to first on a sacrifice bunt attempt that ended up clearing the bases after another error in right field following the bad throw.
Andrews, Lake Dallas’ ace who is still working his way back to full strength after a shoulder injury, lasted 4 1/3 innings on 75 pitches, giving up eight hits.
“He’s one of the grittiest guys we’ve got,” Tompkins said of Andrews. “Great pitchers find ways to win when they don’t have their best stuff. I think he gave us a good enough outing to give us a chance to win the game. He got to his pitch count so we pulled him. We’re bringing him back slowly. We’re not gonna extend him out too far right now because he’s too important.”
The Falcons (13-9, 6-3) put up a big inning of their own in the bottom of the second inning as the Cougars committed two errors of their own and Riley Forson had a big two-run single to go with RBIs from Owens, Williams and Tim Drozd.
The win kept Lake Dallas in a favorable position in the District 4-4A standings behind district leader Ryan and Wichita Falls.
Tompkins said it was important to pick up a sixth district victory with the parity in the district’s pecking order, citing Little Elm’s no-hit victory over Wichita Falls as an example of how any team can beat any other one on any given night. It was one of two district wins for Little Elm, and just one of two district losses for the Coyotes.
“We were 6-6 and got in last year, so it’s huge,” Tompkins said of the victory. “Everyone’s so even. Anyone can beat anyone on any given night right now. The district is pretty even. Nobody really stands out.
“It’s going to be a dogfight until the end. You have to come out and play the games and see what happens.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
LAKE DALLAS 8, THE COLONY 7
WP – Michael Cox. LP – Parker Jones. SV – Keenan Wingfield. 2B – TC: Sam Warrum, Austin Ferguson. LD: Tim Drozd. 3B – LD: Ryan Navarro. Records – Lake Dallas (13-9, 6-3). The Colony (2-7).