FORT WORTH — Going against a pitcher projected to be taken in the first three rounds of the baseball draft in Jacob Meador, Lake Dallas senior Cade McCollum knew he needed a special outing to keep up and give his team a chance in Game 1 of a Class 5A regional quarterfinal series against Burleson Centennial.
Not only did he match the TCU signee, but McCollum perhaps outplayed him. In a brisk hour-and-a-half contest, McCollum sat down Spartan batters with the help of his defense en route a 1-0 win Thursday night at TCU’s Lupton Stadium.
It was a performance McCollum said he ranked as “probably” No. 1 in his life on the mound.
“That’s as good of an outing you’re going to see in the state of Texas,” Lake Dallas coach Ryan Howard said. “We’re in the third round now, so every team playing has an offense, and Cade went out and was locating pitches and staying ahead of guys. Pitching and defense win a lot of games in the playoffs, and with that outing right there, I wouldn’t have rather had anybody in the state of Texas on the mound for us.”
McCollum recorded four strikeouts while allowing three hits and three walks.
Lake Dallas had five hits and drew two walks. Meador finished with 10 strikeouts.
Time after time, McCollum forced batters into weak contact resulting in a simple ground ball or routine pop fly for the Falcon defense.
“The big thing was throwing strikes, getting ahead and letting my defense work,” McCollum said. “I was mixing it up, just trying to attack early and make them hit my pitches.”
The lone run came in the top of the first. Leadoff batter Ryan Depperschmidt got to third off of a misplayed ball by the Centennial left fielder. Depperschmidt scored on a fielder’s choice after contact by Kyle York.
The win puts Howard in position to use Depperschmidt or another pitcher in Game 2, slated for 4:30 p.m. Friday at TCU, with Game 3 following if necessary.
“We knew we were going against one of the top arms in the state, but we really battled with two strikes and had good swings in plus counts,” Howard said. “Winning Game 1 is always big, but you still have to win two games to get out of here, so we just need to come out [Friday] with the same intensity and focus we had today.”
Lake Dallas 1, Burleson Centennial 0
Lake Dallas 100 000 0 — 1 5 0
Centennial 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
WP- Cade McCollum. LP- Jacob Meador; 2B- Lake Dallas: Connor Perry; 3B- Lake Dallas: Ryan Depperschmidt.