CORINTH — Lake Dallas knew roughly the number of wins it needed in District 5-4A play to avoid sitting out the playoffs for the second straight year.
If the Falcons picked up a third straight loss Tuesday, Lake Dallas’ playoff hopes once again were going to come down to the last game of the season.
After Tuesday’s game against Fort Worth Brewer, the Falcons will only have to worry about what seed they will have when they enter the postseason. Lake Dallas avoided its third loss in four games and made quick work of Brewer in an 11-1 victory at Falcon Field.
“We really felt like we’d take care of business tonight,” Lake Dallas coach John Tompkins said. “Our kids work hard and they were prepared. We did not want to go over to Azle and play the last game over there.”
With Azle’s 3-2 win over Trophy Club Nelson, Nelson and Lake Dallas (15-14, 8-5 district) are tied for third place in the 5-4A standings going into the final game of the regular season.
The game ended in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Lake Dallas sophomore left fielder Ben Williamson hit a grounder between second base and third base. Falcon senior Jackson Owens stepped on home plate moments later, just beating a throw and giving the Falcons their first win in three games.
The only thing stronger than Lake Dallas’ finish was the way the Falcons started the game.
After the team’s eight seniors were honored before their final home game and sophomore pitcher Grant Landry wrapped up the top of the first inning, the Falcons sent 12 batters to the plate and chased Brewer starter Colin Lovato after he threw 40 pitches, allowed six runs and recorded two outs for the Bears (3-10 in district).
Williamson, junior Tristan Tom and senior Will Lipsey each had two hits in the victory.
Tompkins and Lipsey lamented the lack of breaks the Falcons have received this season. But in Lake Dallas’ second run-rule victory over Brewer this season, there were plenty of good things to go around.
“We haven’t caught a break at all, which is kind of bad, but good teams usually make breaks and that’s what we did,” Lipsey said. “We practiced hard this week and got after it.”
After the Falcons missed the postseason last year, Tompkins posted the number 8 on their whiteboard early this season and told his team it needed a find a way to hit the number in the district win column.
Behind its quick start Tuesday night, Lake Dallas made sure it picked up the win and hit the unofficial magic number to send the Falcons to the postseason.
“It’s going to be fun,” Lipsey said. “I’m super excited. We’re all excited. It’s a big going-away present.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter @Ben_Baby.
Lake Dallas 11, Fort Worth Brewer 1 (5)
Fort Worth Brewer
WP — Grant Landry (5-3). LP — Colin Lovato. 2B — B: Ben Lewis 2, Mark Brown. Records — Fort Worth Brewer 3-10 in district; Lake Dallas 15-14, 8-5