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Baseball: Decatur clinches playoff berth – Rascon’s grand slam propels Eagles past Bulls

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018
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Touch Em All

TOUCH ‘EM ALL – Decatur’s Bodi Rascon is greeted by teammates after hitting a grand slam. Rascon’s blast gave the Eagles the lead for good in a 6-2 victory over Bridgeport. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Bodi Rascon turned the game around in one swing last Friday against rival Bridgeport.

With the bases loaded and the score tied at two, Rascon teed off on a fastball, depositing Corbin Bailey’s pitch over the right field fence for a grand slam. Rascon’s fourth-inning blast gave Decatur the lead for good in a 6-2 victory over the Bulls.

IN A GROOVE – Decatur junior Wilson Hicks pitches during a game against Bridgeport. Hicks struck out nine in a 6-2 win. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“[Bailey] was throwing the same thing,” Rascon said. “The second at-bat I lined him up down the middle and relaxed, and that third one I was just confident I was going to get a base hit. It felt really good. I knew it was gone. I just didn’t want to celebrate it too much.”

Decatur claimed the third seed in District 9-4A with the win and Sanger’s loss to Krum. The Eagles will face Dallas Pinkston in the bi-district round. Game 1 is at 7 p.m. Thursday in Decatur. Game 2 is at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Pinkston. Game 3, if necessary, would follow.

Bridgeport entered the game fighting for its playoff life. The Bulls needed a win to force a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots in 9-4A between Sanger and Decatur. Instead, the Bulls’ season ended at 3-7 in district.

Southpaw Wilson Hicks got the nod for Decatur on the mound. Hicks gave up only one hit in the final six innings. He sat the Bulls down in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings, pitching a complete-game.

Hicks finished the night with nine strikeouts. He struck out the side in the top of the third, freezing Daniel Delgadillo with an off-speed pitch.

“Our gameplan was get guys on base and bunt them over – do some things like that to really get [Hicks] out of his rhythm,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “Once he gets going, he’s pretty hard to hit. There was one inning where he didn’t throw more than 10 pitches. Our goal against any ace is to get to the bullpen, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Hicks allowed his only two runs in the first inning. The junior walked the first batter of the game and then made an errant throw to second base, putting two runners aboard. Bridgeport’s Ethan Herschler gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI-single to center.

“Whenever you walk the lead-off batter, it’s always hard,” Hicks said. “The first inning was on me. I just went out there, relaxed, got in a rhythm and pounded the strike zone. I got ahead and worked ahead. I got in a good groove by the third [inning].”

The Eagles got a run back in the bottom of the first on a bad pickoff throw to first. As Hicks continued to keep Bridgeport off the board, Decatur started to solve Bailey until finally breaking through in the fourth with Rascon’s bases-clearing grand slam.

The Bulls ended their season 9-17 overall. The Eagles finished 16-13 overall and 5-5 in district.

Decatur advanced to the 4A Region II finals last year, falling to Texarkana Pleasant Grove one series shy of the state tournament,

“Once we knew we weren’t going to win [district] and couldn’t finish second, our goal was to get into the top part of the bracket. We did that,” said Decatur coach Tommy Maddox. “It’s week-by-week now. It doesn’t matter how you get in [the playoffs]. You get in, get on a roll and hopefully take care of some business.”

BASEBALL

4A Region II bi-district
Decatur vs. Dallas Pinkston
Game 1: 7 p.m. Thursday at Decatur
Game 2: 4:30 p.m. Friday at Pinkston
Game 3, if necessary: Immediately after Game 2

3A Region I bi-district
Boyd vs. Peaster
Game 1: 4:30 p.m. Friday at Graford
Game 2: 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Graford
Game 3, if necessary: Immediately after Game 2

3A Region I bi-district
Paradise vs. Brock
Game 1: 7 p.m. Thursday at Weatherford College
Game 2: 5 p.m. Friday at Weatherford College
Game 3, if necessary: Immediately after Game 3

2A Region II bi-district
Chico vs. Archer City
Game 1: 7 p.m. Thursday at Bowie
Game 2: 7 p.m. Friday at Bowie
Game 3, if necessary: 2 p.m. Saturday

SOFTBALL

4A Region II Area
Melissa vs Decatur
7 p.m. Thursday at Prosper

RESULTS

4A Region II bi-district
Decatur 21, Dallas Roosevelt 0

2A Region II
Perrin-Whitt 7, Alvord 2
Perrin-Whitt wins series 2-0

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