CORINTH — Lake Dallas was hanging on to its playoff life by a thread late Friday night at Falcon Field.
The Falcons were down two runs in the fourth inning to Birdville, a playoff-tested team that had hammered Lake Dallas the night before.
Saying Lake Dallas’ fortunes changed quickly after the Falcons charged back for a stunning 14-4 win that was cut to five innings by the run rule would be a gross understatement.
Lake Dallas scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and then exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, when the Falcons sent 11 batters to the plate.
Lake Dallas walked off with the win when Grant Landry lined a single to center to score the game-ending run.
The win pushed the best-of-three Class 4A Region I playoff series to a third game that is scheduled to be played at 3 p.m. today at Grapevine High School.
“This has been one of the best groups to coach that I have had in seven years here,” Lake Dallas coach John Tompkins said. “They work hard and we have talked about being resilient all year. Bend but don’t break. They have bought into that.”
Lake Dallas (16-16) appeared as if it might be on the verge of breaking after Birdville (20-8-1) came back from an early 2-0 deficit with a four-run fourth inning.
The Falcons were in a tough spot at that point considering they had managed just four runs in nine innings in the series at that point. Lake Dallas had just two hits in the opening game of the series.
Lake Dallas came to life when catcher Christian Boulware lined a two-run single to center to give the Falcons a 5-4 lead, the key hit in their four-run fourth.
That seemed to open the floodgates for the Falcons, who piled on in the fifth when Boulware posted another two-run single to center.
Lake Dallas received key contributions from just about everyone in its lineup. The players in the bottom four spots in its order combined to score nine runs.
Designated hitter Danny Drozd went 3-for-4 with a two-run triple in the bottom of the fifth and scored the game-ending run on Landry’s single while hitting out of the sixth spot in the lineup.
Landry’s key hit put Lake Dallas just where it wanted to be heading into a third game after capitalizing on a key opportunity on its home field.
“We really preached to them [Thursday night] that we wanted the swing game here,” Thompkins said. “If you win Game 2, no one remembers Game 1. Our kids had the right mental approach.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.
Lake Dallas 14, Birdville 4 (5)
WP — Tom. LP — Engelhardt . 2B — B: Robert Salazar, Colter Stephens. 3B — LD: Danny Drozd. Records — Lake Dallas 16-16, Birdville 20-8-1.