RICHMOND (Covering Fort Bend News)– It’s been a good week to be a Tiger. Tiger Woods has another green jacket, and the Travis Tigers have a share of first place in District 20-6A after a 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Ridge Point. Both teams are 10-1 with three district games left.
Little lefty starter Kenny Dutka threw a complete game gem vs. Ridge Point, scattering four hits while fanning four and walking only two Panther hitters. The only extra-base hit he allowed was Preston Steszewski’s double.
The Panthers were unbeaten since Feb. 23, when they lost to 2018 UIL state 6A finalist San Antonio Reagan. Their ace pitcher, Hayde Key, had not lost a decision since February 22. He’s compiled a 0.00 ERA in the games he’d pitched since then, and still has it – but the Tigers struck for two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning, which, as it turned out, was all they needed.
The five-tool star for Travis, Trey Faltine, led off the inning with a sinking line drive to center field. Three-year starter Gabe Colaianni, whose Ridge Point career has been a long-running series of spectacular catches, went all-out to make another one. However, he couldn’t glove it and it snuck under him, and the speedy Faltine ran all the way to third. The play was scored a single plus a two-base error.
A one-out grounder by Kevin Ortiz drove Faltine home. Later, with two outs, Colin Mushinski’s grounder to freshman shortstop Justin Vossos led to the second Panther error of the inning, and it allowed Dutka to score.
“Our pitching and our defense, with some timely hits, were key to winning this game tonight,“ Tigers Head Coach Rodney Hernandez said. “We had some key defensive plays by our outfielders.”
Indeed, Kenny Dutka’s big brother Koby helped him out. Koby sprinted into foul territory to catch Austin Bradbury’s slicing fly ball with one out in the fourth. When Vossos singled with one out in the second, Mushinski unleashed a perfect throw to David Pagan at third base, and Pagan tagged out Jacob Garcia trying to advance two bases on the play. Ortiz, the catcher, sprung out of his crouch to grab Tanner Bond’s foul ball in the fifth and retire the side.
Faltine produced the most spectacular play in the third. With Jack Baker running from first for Ridge Point, Colaianni lifted a hump-backed liner to right center field. Baker thought the ball would drop and was digging for second, but Faltine ran it down on the fly. His perfect peg to first baseman Thomas Roldan beat Baker to the bag to complete the double play.
Ridge Point got a pair of base hits in the seventh, but Hernandez stuck with Dutka on the mound, and he finished what he started. With two outs and runners at the corners, Dutka induced Bond to pop one up on the infield. When Mason Brock squeezed it, there was a tie atop the District 20-6A standings.
Thursday, Travis is scheduled to play at Clements. Next week, the Tigers travel to Kempner Tuesday and host Bush Friday. Ridge Point closes the season with a home game against Elkins, a roadie at Clements and a home date vs. Dulles.
Listen to the podcast of Tuesday’s District 20-6A baseball action, Ridge Point at Travis, and Thursday night’s live broadcast, Travis at Clements, at https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype. Also, listen next week to the Dulles-Elkins game Tuesday and the Dulles-Ridge Point game Friday, April 26, at that same link. Coverage starts at 6:45 p.m.