Playing their final home game at Eagle Field, Decatur seniors Trey Penny, Derek Potts, Jaxon Terrell and Tucker DuBois made sure it ended with celebration.
The quartet spurred a four-run third inning, starting with Penny’s RBI-single. The half-inning proved decisive as Decatur held on for the 4-2 victory over the Krum Bobcats Wednesday night.
“It was a great night in our last game here,” Penny said.
Decatur honored its eight seniors following the victory, including ace pitcher Bryce Elder, who came on to record the final out with a strikeout.
“It’s an emotional night but my favorite night of the year, getting to celebrate those guys,” said Decatur coach Brian Tickell. “These seniors have motivated us through a successful season.”
It’s a season that will carry on to the playoffs with no worse than the third playoff seed out of District 9-4A after the win over Krum, who will be the league’s fourth seed. Decatur (19-8, 6-3) will go to Sanger Friday and would pull into a tie for second with the Indians at the end of district with a victory.
“It’s a big game but we’ll be ready for it,” Penny said. “We’ve finally come together as a whole group.”
Decatur heads into the regular-season finale on a three-game winning streak that followed a three-game skid.
“We’ve got on a winning streak,” said Decatur sophomore pitcher Wilson Hicks. “It’s a good time to start playing good.”
Hicks gave the seniors a proper sendoff with a strong performance on the mound, allowing two runs — one earned — on three hits over six and two-thirds. He struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.
“On senior night, I always want to play good and send them out with a win,” said Hicks, who on senior night in football threw for a pair of touchdowns and in basketball tossed in 30 points.
Hicks’ start got off to a rocky start, allowing a single on his first pitch. A walk and error put runners on second and third with one out. Center fielder Alec Uselton got the Eagles out of the early jam, catching a flyball and then gunning out Krum’s Chase Tower at the plate for the inning-ending double play.
“Alec made a great play throwing the guy out at the plate,” Tickell said. “That play got us going.”
Decatur turned three double play behind Hicks, including third baseman Eddie Fernandez snagging a lined smash by Tower in the fifth and throwing across the diamond for the out to end the inning.
“My defense always plays great behind me,” Hicks said. “I have confidence to throw whatever I need because I know they have my back.”
After the first inning, Hicks retired nine of the next 11, giving up only one hit.
“I got off to a rough start but I was able to settle in and get ahead of hitters.”
Decatur was hitless its first time through the order against Krum starter Cole Lee. In the bottom of the third, senior Logan Mitchell worked a leadoff walk and took second on a wild pitch. An out later, Penny brought Mitchell home with single to center.
Potts followed with a single before Hicks’ run-scoring single chased Lee.
Facing reliever Tristan Flanagan, Terrell plated the third run of the inning with a groundout. DuBois made it a four-run frame with his bouncer through the middle.
“In our first at-bats, we were a little fooled,” Tickell said. “The second time through, we saw some pitches we could drive. The hitters just feed off each other.”
Decatur had just two more hits in the game, including Terrell’s double down the line in the fifth.
Decatur 4, Krum 2
Krum 000 010 1 2 4 2
Decatur 004 000 X 4 6 3
WP — Wilson Hicks; LP — Cole Lee
2B — Krum, Lee; Decatur, Jaxon Terrell
RBIs — Krum, Trey Smith, Brady Ferguson; Decatur, Trey Penny, Hicks, Terrel, Tucker DuBois