Dallas enjoys All-Star game

Published 7:52 pm Friday, June 17, 2016

By Gabriel Pruett

The Orange Leader

BEAUMONT — Jack Dallas was able to have a little fun Wednesday evening.

It has been a long time since he has been on a playing field without a ton of pressure riding on him.

The soon-to-be West Orange-Stark senior took part in the Texas Association of Sports Officials All-Star game at Vincent Beck Stadium in Beaumont and was throwing jokes around more than he threw baseballs.

Dallas’ comedy was heard throughout the stadium. When one of his teammates on the Red team singled, Dallas yelled for the player to “take third.”

“All our guys on our team, we played a long baseball season,” Dallas said. “It was fun to come out here and enjoy the game instead of taking it so serious for seven innings.”

The Red team lost to the Blue team 6-5. The Blue team scored two runs in the top of the seventh to erase a 5-4 Red advantage heading into the final inning.

Dallas was playing at Lamar a couple of months after Cardinals coach Will Davis offered him a scholarship.

He batted .352 as a junior with 21 runs, 24 RBI and seven doubles. Dallas went 7-4 on the mound with a 1.60 ERA with 103 strikeouts and 30 walks in 61 1/3 innings.

Dallas knows now it is time to put the jokes aside because his focus is soon to turn to football. The Mustangs are looking to repeat as Class 4A Division II state champions in 2016.

“My mind is already starting to get prepared for football,” Dallas said. “We are already going to summer workouts and getting ready with the guys. We are starting to focus on repeating in football.”

While Dallas was joking, Nederland’s Chase Kemp was his usual more serious self. Kemp was also on the Red team and showed off in front of Davis and new Lamar pitching coach Kyle Green. Davis said Kemp was the first player he offered a scholarship to out of the 2017 class.

“It was good to see the local talent out and playing ball,” Kemp said. “It was a lot different than normal summer ball because I have never played Babe Ruth. I have never had the chance to do something like this. It was weird being able to call some Port Neches-Groves guys teammates.”

One of the best moments for Kemp was facing Bulldogs teammate Case Babino. Kemp won the battle with a strikeout.

“There will likely be some texting about that later,” Kemp added.