SPORTS HEADLINES

Spartans trip up Decatur

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MISSED CONNECTION - Decatur catcher Cain Lowe tries to get the ball to Jeremy Adams at the plate as Centennial's Jacob Martin slides in at home plate. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

With his team trailing by three runs in its final at-bat, Decatur senior Jeremy Adams belted a two-run double to left field to get the Eagles within a run of the Burleson Centennial Spartans Friday.

But the Eagles could not get one last hit to tie the game, falling to Centennial 5-4.

Centennial wrapped up second place in District 7-3A with the victory, while the Eagles missed an opportunity to wrap up a postseason spot for a second straight game.

Decatur (14-13), which started league play at 4-0, fell into a tie for third place with Bridgeport at 6-4. The two will meet in a playoff for the league’s final postseason berth at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Saginaw High School.

“We had the good start at 4-0, but it’s been a struggle since,” said Decatur coach Chris Carter. “The timely things have not gone our way.

“We’ll go get after Bridgeport.”

Adams, who finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and drove in three of the Eagles’ four runs, said his team will be ready for Friday.

“We’re definitely looking forward to that now,” Adams said. “We want to be in the playoffs.”

Early against Centennial, the Eagles looked on their way to sealing the playoff berth. After Cooper Jackson’s lead-off walk in the first, DJ Roberts and Adams hit back-to-back doubles to put Decatur up 2-0.

But the Eagles would not score again until the seventh as Centennial’s Turner Jenkins held them to just two more hits through six innings, when the Spartans gave the ball to closer Jacob Martin. Jenkins struck out five, walked four and allowed four hits.

“Their pitcher did a great job,” Carter said. “We came out and hit the ball early. He then settled in and threw the ball well.”

Decatur missed an opportunity to score off Jenkins without a hit in the sixth. After one-out walks to Chris Saunders and Cody Barlow, Christian Carrillo hit a deep fly ball to right-center field that Centennial center fielder Martin couldn’t handle. Saunders made a wide turn at third and got caught in a rundown for the second out.

Jenkins then got a strikeout to get out of the inning.

“In the sixth, we had an opportunity but couldn’t get it done,” Carter said. “If we take advantage there, we may win the game in the seventh.”

Centennial rallied from the early 2-0 deficit, scoring a run in the second and third innings on four hits against Adams. In the fifth, Centennial pulled ahead for good with three runs on three hits and a walk.

The Spartans took advantage of a stolen base, passed ball and two wild pitches in the inning. Two runs came home when pitches got past Decatur catcher Cain Lowe.

“We had too many mistakes in the field and gave them extra bases,” Carter said. “We’ve got to get the ball from the mound to the plate clean. The games in this district are too tight to give a team opportunities.”

Adams fell to 3-2 with the loss. Pitching with oblique pain, he lasted four and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs – four earned – on seven hits. He struck out three and walked four.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” he said. “I never could get comfortable. My control and velocity was off.”

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