ABILENE — Lake Dallas coach Ryan Howard said Kyle York’s defense behind the plate this postseason has been “as good as anybody.” However, it was York’s offense that led the Falcons to a 5-4 victory over Lubbock Monterey on Friday in Game 1 of the Class 5A regional semifinals.
After Lake Dallas committed an error that allowed Monterey to tie the game in the fifth, York came to the plate in the sixth with two outs and the speedy Ryan Depperschmidt standing at second. York poked a 1-2 pitch over the first baseman’s head to drive in Depperschmidt and give the Falcons a 4-3 lead. York finished with two doubles and two RBIs.
“I knew early in the game that they were shifting their outfield to the pull side, so I was looking to either drive one in the left-center field gap or flip one over the first baseman’s head,” York said. “It was a great feeling to help my teammates win a game.”
The next batter, Connor Perry, hit a ground ball down the left field line that was misplayed, and York came around to give Lake Dallas a 5-3 lead.
The insurance run proved to be handy, as the Plainsmen rebounded in the bottom of the sixth when a Falcon outfielder threw the ball over the third baseman’s head and allowed Plainsmen left fielder Bobby Roberts to score and cut the lead to one.
As Plainsmen stood at second and third with one out, Howard decided to put Ben Price on the mound after starter Depperschmidt allowed three earned runs through 5 1/3 solid innings and 101 pitches.
With the game on the line, Price coaxed a ground out and a fly out to diminish the Monterey threat and preserve the one-run lead. The junior returned to the mound in the seventh and sat down the Plainsmen in order to seal the victory.
“Ben coming in and getting us out of that [sixth] inning to preserve the one-run lead was huge,” Howard said. “Then he came in during the seventh and gave us an opportunity to win the game by throwing strikes and making them swing. He did a great job.”
Ryan Hull also contributed in a crucial moment for Lake Dallas. In the fourth with the game tied at 1, Hull lined a two-out single to left to drive in Freddy Wyche and get the Lake Dallas crowd on its feet.
Lake Dallas was 11-15 on April 16, but the No. 3 seed out of District 8-5A has won nine of 10 to position the Falcons one win from their first regional final appearance since 2016. Lake Dallas also ended Monterey’s seven-game win streak.
John Long took the loss, allowing five runs — three earned — in 5 2/3 innings.
“Really important to get a win here in Game 1,” Howard said. “We made some uncharacteristic mistakes on the basepaths that hurt us, but we did a really good job of battling back to get the win.”
Game 2 is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Abilene Christian’s Crutcher Scott Field. If necessary, Game 3 will follow.
Lake Dallas 5, Lubbock Monterey 4
Lake Dallas 100 112 0 — 5 9 2
Lubbock Monterey 010 021 0 — 4 8 2
WP Ryan Depperschmidt; LP – John Long; 2B – Lake Dallas: Connor Perry, Kyle York (2), Austan Williams; 2B – Monterey: Nate Davila