Get some plywood and break out the royal blue paint: Lewisville baseball has a new state championship sign to hang on its outfield fence.
The Lions edged Lake View 6-4 at the Wild Gators’ cavernous half-baseball, half-football stadium to claim the Lewisville’s seventh baseball state title, and second under Billy Keels.
“Finally, we finally did it,” said senior catcher Alex Reed. “I’m happy for the guys, the seniors especially. It’s good to come out on top, on the other side and to be smiling instead of crying.”
With the score tied 4-4 and two outs in the top of the seventh, junior Quentin Sanders plastered a baseball over the right fielder's head to score Mike Hill. Sanders then scampered home when Chase Yoder hustled to first, beating the throw for a 6-4 scoreline. Sanders was 4-for-4 with two RBI in a game-winning offensive effort.
Trey Keels pitched a complete game for the Lions (25-5), allowing seven hits and four no runs but never allowing the Wild Gators (22-5) a big offensive inning.
“Shout out to Trey, he pitched good. Really good,” said Reed.
The Lions’ bottom of the order delivered in a big way. Second baseman and No. 8 hitter Jack Jordan got on base three times, successfully sacrifice bunting in his fourth attempt, and Sanders, the No. 9 hitter, was immense. At no point were they bigger than in the top of the seventh when Jordan drew his second hit-by-pitch to get aboard and Sanders smoked Nick Collins’ pitch into right field for the winning run.
“Q played amazing,” said Reed. “That’s a home run at any other field, but here.”
The Lions kept their nerve when Lake View grabbed the momentum with two runs in the sixth inning. The Wild Gators had the top of their order coming up in the bottom of the seventh so Keels and company knew they needed to take advantage of potentially their last turn at bat. They did just that.
Sanders was batting around .180 headed into the state finals, but he had a huge week, homering in the championship opener and producing Tuesday night at Lake View.
“Daggum, he went 4-for-4 on the biggest stage of his life,” said Keels. “I almost took him out of the lineup about five games ago but I said, ‘hey, he’s so athletic and such a competitor in football and basketball that he might eventually come around. I’m glad I didn’t take him out of the lineup.”
Yoder was also excellent at third base and in the leadoff spot. He made four or five put-outs defensively and also was 2-for-3 with his stick, including a clutch RBI late in the game. He stayed in the game even when he fouled a ball off his face, indicative of the desire for these Lions to hang another sign, of the right color.
“It’s blue now, instead of yellow,” said Reed, alluding to the yellow signs Lewisville posts for Upper State championships. “‘Bout time we put up a blue one.”