SPORTS HEADLINES

Baseball: Snapping the skid – Eagles blast Bulls to break losing streak

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, April 14, 2018
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Reaching for Bag

REACHING FOR BAG – Decatur’s Alec Uselton slides into second base Tuesday against Bridgeport. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Last season, Decatur lost three district games in a row before going on a run to the 4A regional finals. After losses to Krum, Sanger and Argyle in the past 10 days, the Eagles are hoping history repeats itself this year.

Decatur snapped a three-game district losing skid Tuesday night, routing rival Bridgeport 12-1.

“I think any time you kind of go through a run of games like we went through, it’s good to come out and [get a win],” said Decatur coach Tommy Maddox. “I’ve just been telling them getting out of this is not going to be easy. We’re going to have to play well, and I thought for the most part we did that tonight. We took care of business.”

Strong Outing

STRONG OUTING – Decatur pitcher Wilson Hicks threw five scoreless innings against Bridgeport. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wilson Hicks threw five scoreless innings, surrendering only one hit and striking out nine. The southpaw made quick work of Bridgeport’s order for most of the night. He fanned Ethan Herschler and Jadon Maddux to end the second and third innings.

“At the beginning I didn’t really have the command that I wanted to, but I thought I was able to bear down when I needed to and get out of innings,” Hicks said. “That was huge for us, so we could put runs on the board. I thought my curveball was pretty effective tonight.”

Hicks ran into trouble in the fourth inning when an error and a walk put two runners on for the Bulls with no one out. Bridgeport loaded the bases with a one-out single, but Hicks was able to work out of the jam by striking out Yobany Roman and getting Herschler to pop out.

“I think really every inning we had a chance to probably score some runs with the exception of one,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “Against a good pitcher like Hicks you have to be able to score runs by putting the ball in play.”

The Eagles got on the board in the third inning when Bodi Rascon singled up the middle to plate two runs. Halen Fletcher blew the game open for Decatur in the top of the fifth, chasing Bridgeport starter Conner Holzer from the game.

Fletcher lofted a two-run double to right field that put the Eagles up 6-0.

The Eagles added four runs in the sixth inning, starting with another RBI-single from Rascon. He ended the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Dayne Chapman and Beau Bedford also drove in runs in the frame.

Nick Birmingham and Roman Fuller each threw one inning of relief out of the bullpen to close the game out.

“I’ve talked to them all year, and especially here lately, about peaking at the right time, and that time is now,” Maddox said.

Decatur improved to 13-10 overall and 2-3 in District 9-4A. Bridgeport fell to 8-13 overall and 2-3 in district.

The Eagles hosted Gainesville Friday. The Bulls traveled to Krum.

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