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    Centennial's Jacob Meador, left, and Gavin Gonzalez, right, celebrate after Dawson Barnes, center, scored in the first inning of the Spartans' 7-3 Game 2 loss to Lake Dallas Friday in aClass 5A Region I quarterfinal playoff game at TCU’s Lupton Stadium. BURLESON STAR/PAYTON GOODEN

Lake Dallas halts Spartans’ season

FORT WORTH — After getting shutout in its playoff opener with Lake Dallas, Centennial’s baseball team came out with a new offensive attitude in Game 2 on Friday.

The Spartans scored twice in the top of the first inning and seemed to have momentum on their side.

But Lake Dallas stole that momentum in the bottom of the inning scoring twice.

Centennial would take a 3-2 lead in the third inning only to see the Falcons counter with five runs as Lake Dallas went on to a 7-3 win for a sweep in the best-of-three

Class 5A Region I quarterfinal series at TCU’s Lupton Stadium.

“I thought we were seeing the ball much better today,” Centennial coach Brian Tickell said. “I thought our chances were pretty good after that first inning and they came back to tie it.”

Tickell credited Lake Dallas with being scrappy and fighting the Spartans each step of the way.

“They were a tough team to put away,” Tickell said. “They have a lot of heart over there and we just couldn’t compete with them today.”

A 1-0 loss to Lake Dallas on Thursday with senior ace Jacob Meador on the mound had the Spartans facing elimination on Friday.

Centennial came into Game 2 with a new attitude and jumped on Lake Dallas starter Ryan Depperschmidt for two runs.

The Falcons’ coaching staff had gambled in the opener, opting not to throw Depperschmidt, their usual Tuesday night starter. The ploy worked as Lake Dallas won the opener but the Spartans found success at the plate against Depperschmidt in the first.

Dawson Barnes singled to open the first for the Spartans and scored on Gabe Irwin’s one-out single. Meador followed with a bunt single and Irwin scored on a two-out single by Seth DeLaRosa.

The lead didn’t last long as the Falcons countered with two runs in the bottom of the first thanks in part to a pair of errors.

Lead off hitter Depperschmidt reached second base on a error by left fielder Colby Stacy. With one out, Depperschmidt scored on an error following a single to left by Kyle York. On the play, York ended up at third and scored on a single by Connor Perry.

The Spartans regained the lead in the third when Miguel Santos singled to open the inning and scored on a two-out single by DeLaRosa.

Again the lead didn’t last long as Lake Dallas tallied five runs in the bottom of the inning to build a 7-3 lead. Centennial starting pitcher Brayden Freeman, who had allowed one run in 10 playoff innings before Friday, surrendered seven runs (five earned) in 2.2 innings.  

“I thought things had turned around when we got that run in the third but then they fought back and scored five runs.” Tickell said. “We didn’t throw the ball very well on the mound and we just couldn’t keep up hitting with them.”

Centennial managed just four base runners in the final four innings.

Depperschmidt picked up the win allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked one.

The loss ended the Spartans season with a record of 25-12. Centennial shared the District 5-5A title with Mansfield Legacy.

“What a great season,” Tickell said. “To win district and to beat a team like (Mansfield) Legacy twice is great. I’m just proud of these guys for competing on the field, especially after starting off pretty slow. But they grew as a team. They got better as players but more importantly they got better as young men.”

This was the Spartans third trip to the regional quarterfinals in the program’s eight year history.

“After making it to the third round of the playoffs, the future here at Centennial is pretty exciting,” Tickell said. “You always want to go further. You never want it to end. You want to go down to the state tournament. This is a talented group of young men who have the support of a great community and great parents. I’m just excited about the future.”

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