CORINTH — It seemed overly complimentary at the time, but Lake Dallas coach John Tompkins insisted before Friday’s game that Denton was the best — and perhaps scariest — winless team he’d seen thus far.
Tompkins’ crew definitely had its hands full with the Broncos, who pulled to within one run twice before the Falcons scored two runs in the fifth inning for a key 5-2 District 5-4A win.
Lake Dallas (13-11, 6-2 district) came in nipping at the heels of Guyer and Wichita Falls, who were each tied atop the standings with six wins. Wichita Falls beat Fort Worth Brewer, but with Guyer’s loss to Azle, the Falcons are now tied with the Wildcats in second place.
“You look at Azle beating Guyer and it just goes to show this [district] is going to be a dogfight and it’s going to come down to the very end,” said Tompkins, whose team has won three in a row. “It’s going to come down to which four teams are the most resilient down the stretch, and we want to be one of those teams. We told the guys to just hold onto that rope and don’t let go.”
Denton (3-17, 0-8) is trying to make the second half of district more meaningful for itself as well.
“I told the kids before the game that they looked focused and relaxed and that we were going to go out there with nothing to lose and try to knock some people out [of the playoff race],” Denton coach Glen Harrison said. “For the most part we played well. We made some great plays and everything we hit early was hit hard, but it was right at them.”
The turning point was that fifth inning. With his team leading by one run, Danny Drozd came up with the bases loaded and ripped a two-run single to extend the Falcons’ lead to 5-2. Jackson Owens, who came on in relief of Tristan Tom with no outs in the top of the fifth, allowed one hit in three innings of work.
“Danny has been our big hit guy all year,” Tompkins said. “He knows his role and we have a lot of confidence in him to get the key hit. That’s just what he does for us.”
Tom held the Broncos hitless through the first three innings while the Lake Dallas offense built him a 2-0 lead. Denton then got an RBI single from Josh Chavez in the top of the fourth inning to trail 2-1. Alex Peppard extended the Falcons’ lead to 3-1 in the bottom of that same inning, but the Broncos again cut into the lead when they chased Tom from the game and got a two-out RBI single from John Collins.
That’s where the Broncos’ luck ran out. Christian Boulware led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single, and after a Denton error and walk to Will Lipsey, the Falcons suddenly had the bases loaded with one out heading into Drozd’s at-bat.
Lake Dallas 5, Denton 2
WP — Tristan Tom. LP — Chris Torralba. Save: Jackson Owens. Records — Lake Dallas 13-11, 6-2; Denton 3-17, 0-8.