After winning Game 2, Centennial falls to Lake Dallas in third game
SAGINAW - Thomas Santos and Jacob Meador gave Centennial two outstanding pitching performances Friday but it wasn’t enough to take the best-of-three Class 5A Region I area-round playoff series with Lake Dallas.
Santos tossed the Spartans past the Falcons, 6-1, in Game 2 Friday at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.
Then in the deciding third game, Meador, a freshman, allowed one hit and three runs (two unearned) over six innings in a 3-0 loss.
“Thomas pitched well and we executed,” Centennial coach Brad Hart said. “That was the difference between the second and third games.”
The series loss was the third straight for the Spartans (25-8) in the area-round of the playoffs. Birdville ended Centennial’s season the past two years with two-game sweeps. Lake Dallas (22-10) will face Fort Worth Arlington Heights in the regional quarterfinals.
“Jacob pitched a great game,” Hart said. “We out hit them but we didn’t get hits when we needed them. We just didn’t get it done.”
In the third game, the Spartans couldn’t string together timely hits even though they out hit Lake Dallas, 7-1.
Grant Landry, who registered the save for Lake Dallas in the opening game, got the complete game shutout. Landry fanned three, hit one batter and walked none.
“Give that kid credit, he didn’t give us many freebies,” Hart said. “Early in the game, we couldn’t get a guys on base until there were two out. That makes it tough to score runs.”
The Spartans stranded a pair of runners in the first. Centennial then stranded a runner in both the second and third innings.
In the second, Lake Dallas turned a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch into a 1-0 lead on a one-out squeeze bunt.
Centennial’s best chance to score came in the fourth inning when Devin Paz singled to open the inning and Payton Strambler followed with a base hit. But with runners at second and third after a Noah Menchaca sacrifice bunt, the Spartans couldn’t get a run home.
A pair of Spartan errors in the fourth led to a pair of unearned runs and a 3-0 Lake Dallas lead.
With two out and a runner on first, catcher Payton Strambler misplayed a foul ball that would have ended the inning. That batter eventually walked.
Then with runners on first and second, Meador induced what seemed to be an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Noah Menchaca. But Menchaca left the ball on the ground to load the bases.
Lake Dallas pinch-hitter Drew Karp made the most of the situation lining two-run single to left field for a 3-0 lead.
“That last error really cost us,” Hart said.
In the sixth and seventh, Centennial stranded a runner on base.
After scoring one run Thursday night in a 2-1 Game 1 loss, the Spartans jumped on the Lake Dallas early scoring five runs in the first three innings.
In the first, Andruw McKenzie drew a leadoff walk and Micah Bennett singled. Santos followed with a RBI single to left. The Spartans went up 2-0 when Bennett came home after Jordan Jackson reached on an error.
The Spartans went up 3-0 in the second when Menchaca walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The senior took third on a wild pitch then scored when Andruw McKenzie reached first on an error. Centennial added two runs in the third on a run-scoring single by Strambler and an RBI hit by Quintanilla.
Leading 5-1 in the sixth, Santos doubled to open the inning and scored on a Jackson singled to left.
Santos was dominant on the mound. The junior struck out 11 and a walked two while allowing one run on three hits.