Mason Baur needed just five pitches to get the first two hitters of the bottom of the first out. But the Decatur starter could not keep the potent Sanger bats quiet any longer.
The Sanger Indians put together four straight hits, including back-to-back, run-producing triples to take an early 3-0 lead. The Indians kept piling up the hits and runs on their way to a 9-1 victory over the Decatur Eagles Tuesday in Sanger.
“Sanger is a good baseball team and good hitting team,” said Decatur coach Chris Carter. “They average 10 to 12 runs per game. You’ve got to compete every pitch against them.”
With the victory, Sanger (14-6-1) took over sole possession of the District 9-3A lead at the end of the first round at 4-0. Decatur (10-10-2) fell to second place at 3-1.
The loss also ended Decatur’s six-game winning streak.
“We’d played good baseball coming in,” Carter said. “We just need to focus on us. We can’t focus on anything else. A lot of things went against us tonight. They beat us in every phase. There’s a lot of baseball to go. We’ve got to back and fix things.”
Austen Lange and Julien Ly provided the big shots off Baur in the first with triples into the left-center field gap. Lange plated two. Ly, a freshman making his first district start, drove in the first of his two RBIs, hitting a ball past Clayton Egle at shortstop that rolled to the fence.
After giving up the three runs in the first, Baur battled into the fifth inning. Sanger picked up two runs on two hits and an error off him in the third and another run on a pair of hits in the fifth.
“I left a couple of pitches up with two strikes that I shouldn’t have,” Baur said.
“We just fell apart and started giving away runs. We didn’t play as good as we could have.”
Baur allowed six runs – five earned – on 10 hits with a strikeout and one walk in four and one-thirds innings.
Sanger added three runs in the sixth off Decatur reliever AJ Johnson, including Ted Wisdom’s RBI-double.
Sanger starter Logan Looper shut down the Decatur bats through five and one-third innings, allowing five hits and striking out three. He was charged with one run after Josh Jones singled in Austin Givens off Sanger reliever Wilding Smith.
Givens, who started his second straight game as the lead-off hitter, went 2-for-3 with a double.
He led off the game with an infield single. Cain Lowe followed with another infield single, but was doubled off on a shallow flyball by Nick Trachta to right field. After a strikeout of Jones, Looper was out of a potential first inning jam.
Looper gave up a lead-off single to Christian Carrillo in the second. He avoided trouble in the inning as Decatur was called for a batter interference and later runner interference, which resulted in an inning-ending double play.