Fort Bend Travis enjoyed its best varsity baseball season in school history in 2017. Sophomore pitcher/outfielder Trey Faltine was a key factor in the Tigers’ success.
Travis (32-8) came within one victory of earning its first trip to the state high school baseball tournament following a 3-2 win over Deer Park in game one of the Class 6A Region III best-of-three championship series in Sweeny.
Faltine dominated through six shutout innings and managed to finish the complete game despite yielding two runs in the seventh inning with the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base.
The win improved Faltine to 4-0 in the postseason and allowed Travis head coach Rodney Hernandez to save ace Ryan Rickett for later in the series.
Faltine struck out seven and didn’t allow a baserunner past second base until the last inning.
“He (Faltine) ran into a stress inning there in the seventh,” Hernandez said. “Most of the time he starts off a little slow in the first couple of innings. Then he starts grooving and gets into it.”
The two-way standout performer also jump-started the Travis offense by lining a one-out triple into the right-field corner in the third inning. An error on a bloop to right-field by Dominic Cox enabled courtesy runner Bo Hoeffken to score the game’s first run.
Later in the third Rickett added an RBI single for a 2-0 Travis advantage. A fielder’s choice plated Cole Turney in the fourth to put Travis up 3-0 and set up a close finish at the end.
“I lost a little concentration in the last inning,” said Faltine, who retired 11 consecutive batters coming into the seventh inning.. “When you get deep in the ballgame, it’s all about getting through that pitch and keeping your mechanics right.
“The pressure is on me to win that first game,” Faltine said. “I like that pressure. I like that feeling.”
Deer Park won the final two games of the series against Travis to advance to the state tournament and came home with the 2017 Class 6A state championship trophy.
Faltine, who also played shortstop, finished 10-0 on the season with 80 strikeouts and 27 walks over 62 2/3 innings with a 1.84 ERA.
“Everything is nice and cool with him,” Hernandez said. “He is a gamer.”