The Vikings led for three innings before losing 3-2 to top-ranked Cypress Ranch in District 14-6A action at Viking Field.
“These guys are going to compete until the 21st out is made,” Dillard said. “They did that again today. Win-loss record doesn’t look great, but sometimes you’ve got to look deeper than the win and loss record just to see the improvements they’ve made and the way they compete. That’s a big thing for us.”
Center fielder Michael Barber and courtesy runner Matthew Moreno scored on an error in the first to give Bryan a 2-0 lead. Cy-Ranch starter Matthew Thompson, who drew a large crowd of college and professional scouts, threw 28 pitches in the first inning but settled down and didn’t allow a hit for the rest of the game. He allowed two unearned runs on one hit, walking five and striking out 12 over six innings for the win. Travis Gilbert worked around a walk to pick up the save in the seventh. In all, Bryan (7-15-1, 3-10) stranded five baserunners, none of them advancing past first base after the opening frame.
“When you’re facing a team like that, you want to try to get to their bullpen, and you want their starter to throw a lot of pitches,” Dillard said. “We made him throw 28 pitches in the first inning. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make him do that in the second, third and fourth, but it’s something to build on.”
The Vikings ran into bad luck starting in the third when Ross Thurwalker drew a one-out walk and scored on a passed ball to cut the Mustangs’ deficit to 2-1. Thompson singled, and Hunter Conner, his courtesy runner, scored on a wild pitch to tie it up before Ryan Peters scored on an error to give Cy-Ranch (24-2-1, 13-0) a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Logan Freeman took the hard-luck loss, allowing three runs, one earned, on one hit over four innings. He walked six and struck out six. Andre DeJesus relieved him and tossed three scoreless innings, walking four and giving up two hits while striking out one.
The Viking defense helped DeJesus keep it 3-2. Freeman, who moved to left after DeJesus relieved him, made an impressive diving catch for the first out, and second baseman Michael Hernandez, shortstop Hunter Zaragoza and first baseman Matt Valerius turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
“In the fourth inning, we gave them six outs, and you can’t do that against that kind of team,” Dillard said. “Ultimately, that did hurt us a little bit, but we played really good defense in the fifth, sixth, seventh innings.”
Bryan returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Cy-Ranch.
“This is a good building block,” Dillard said. That’s what I told them just now. We played well tonight, and now we’ve just got to go back and do it again on Thursday.”
NOTE — Bryan honored the late President George H.W. Bush before Monday’s game. The program donated a No. 2 jersey, the number Bush wore at Yale, to the Bush Library, and library director Warren Finch and Bush Foundation CFO Greg Keane threw out the first pitches.
No. 1 Cypress Ranch 3, Bryan 2
Cy-Ranch 001 200 0 — 3
Bryan 200 000 0 — 2
Logan Freeman, Andre DeJesus and David Parks; Matthew Thompson, Travis Gilbert and Jared Alvarez-Lopez.
W — Thompson. L — Freeman.