Fans were treated to a close baseball game in Game 1 of the Class 5A Region I final for about 4 1/2 innings Friday at Dallas Baptist.
But Grapevine’s Ryan Drake, hitting eighth in the lineup, sparked a five-run fifth inning with a two-run homer to left field as Grapevine marched to a 9-2 win and a 1-0 series lead over Lake Dallas.
Both teams come back to DBU at noon Saturday for Game 2 and if necessary, a deciding Game 3.
“I just wanted to go up there with a good approach,” Drake said. “I already had a couple of hits and with runners on. I just wanted to put a good swing on it.”
Drake, who had rallied the Mustangs (31-6-2) from a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning after an RBI double to center field, drove an 0-1 pitch off DBU’s hitting cages in left field to make it 6-2 in the fifth.
Starting pitcher Kyle Flamm plated two more on a sharp single to right field, scoring Boone Montgomery and Connor Neuman.
Flamm shook off some early jitters to throw six innings, giving up two earned runs and two hits and striking out six.
Justin Brak came on in relief to close it out in the seventh.
“Kyle struggled with command early and didn’t have his best stuff,” Grapevine coach Steve Hutcherson said. “But he competed, and when he competed he got guys to put the ball in play and we made some good plays behind him.
“As the game went on he got better and then he got his pitch count up, so we pulled him, but really he was just gutsy and finding ways to get guys out.”
Drake went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and four RBIs and has now accounted for eight RBIs and two doubles to go with his homer in the playoffs.
Grapevine’s five through nine hitters were 7 for 17 with five runs scored and five RBIs in the game and are hitting .323 in the playoffs.
Lake Dallas (26-11) got a run in the second and one in the third to keep it a one-run game until the fifth inning.
Cody Duffey’s RBI double in the second inning gave the Falcons an early 1-0 lead.