Baseball: A season first

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Ryan junior Ryan Burks (25) on the mound against Lewisville, Friday.
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Raiders’ walk-off victory helps them avoid going winless in district play

When Ryan sophomore Manny Torralba stepped on home plate on Friday night, the home fans and team were able to celebrate something for the first time this season.

Ryan junior Ryan Burks delivered a walk-off single with the bases loaded to give the Raiders a 2-1 victory against Lewisville in Ryan’s final home game of the season. With two games left this year, Ryan picked up its first District 5-5A win this season and its third win overall.

Amidst one of the worst years for Ryan’s baseball program, the Raiders and their fans had plenty to cheer about on Friday night.

“Oh man, it was like nothing else,” said Torralba regarding his 90-foot trek home for the game-winning run. “It’s been a while. It felt good for sure.”

Torralba, the team’s starting shortstop, had been out of the lineup because of a head injury suffered in Ryan’s 10-3 loss to Coppell on March 28. It didn’t take long for the sophomore to emphatically make his return to the field.

Torralba triggered nearly identical double plays in the first and third innings. In each instance, Torralba went left to scoop up the ball, stepped on second base for one out and fired to first base for the other out.

Torralba came up with another huge play in the sixth inning. With Lewisville’s starting pitcher Jason Foley at the plate with runners on first and second and two outs, Foley grounded the ball toward Torralba, who narrowly threw out Foley at first base to get the Raiders (3-24-2, 1-11 district) out of a jam.

Burks (2-5), who pitched a five-hitter, was definitely pleased with his shortstop.

“That’s exactly what we needed to stay in a close ballgame like that,” Burks said. “We’ve been in ballgames like that before, and someone makes an error and you’re out of it. You gotta make plays like that to stay in it, and he did.”

At the plate, Burks went 2-for-4 with a run scored and the game-winning RBI. Foley (6-3) picked up the loss for the Fighting Farmers, but Lewisville head coach Mike Campbell said his team didn’t lose because of a lack of pitching.

“We hit horrible,” Campbell said. “We hit absolutely horrible tonight. I’ll give Burks credit for making us expand our strike zone and things like that, but we should have hit the ball better — bottom line.”

Coming into tonight’s game, Lewisville (17-12, 5-7) was one game back of 5-5A’s fourth and final playoff berth. Ryan’s only district win last season came against Lewisville, keeping the Fighting Farmers from reaching the playoffs.

Earlier this season, Lewisville picked up a 7-4 win over the Raiders in nine innings. The possibility of another extra-inning affair was removed with Burks’ deep fly ball into left field that scored the game-winning run.

“I told the kids it’s our turn tonight,” Ryan head coach Bret Warnack said. “They came out and played hard, and we did what we had to do to win the ballgame.”

It was the final home game for Ryan seniors Cody McBee, Eddie Olguin, Sam Watson and Maurice Arterberry. All four were honored before the game and were among the pile of Raiders celebrating their walk-off win in the infield dirt.

“It was a big deal on senior night to go out in your last home game with a win, and a good win to end our season on something positive moving forward,” McBee said.

BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter @Ben_Baby.

Ryan 2, Lewisville 1

Lewisville

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WP — Ryan Burks (2-5). LP — Jason Foley (6-3). 3B — Foley. Records — Lewisville 17-12, 5-7; Ryan 3-24-2, 1-11.


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