Braswell blasts Decatur in Eagles’ home opener

By Tuesday, March 13, 2018. | Published
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The Decatur Eagles committed five errors and used three pitchers in their home opener Tuesday night, falling to Denton Braswell 11-1 in six innings.

Starting pitcher Chase Oberle was chased from the game after four and two-thirds innings, surrendering six runs on seven hits. Only three of the runs were earned. He struck out two and walked one.

Of the 132 total pitches thrown by Decatur’s three pitchers, only 74 were for strikes. Forty-four percent of the Eagles’ pitches against the Bengals were outside the strike zone.

“Chase did a good job,” said Decatur coach Tommy Maddox. “We kind of had control problems and walked some guys. He threw a lot of pitches in a short amount of time, and that’s always difficult. He kept us in the game. With all the things that were happening behind him, that was big to keep us at that point for a while to see if we could scratch some runs across. We just never could get anything going and it just got ugly.”

The Eagles scored their only run of the game in the fifth inning when Triston Read doubled on a ground ball up the middle. Decatur had runners at second and third for Wilson Hicks, but he grounded out to end the inning.

The Eagles were unable to string together timely hits as Maddox said Decatur struggled to solve Braswell’s pitching.

“They ran three pitchers and we haven’t seen that velocity and didn’t handle it well,” Maddox said. “We were trying to match his velocity with swinging hard instead of staying connected and staying up the middle of the field.”

Wilson Hicks and Bodi Rascon went two-for-three at the plate. Alec Uselton and Read accounted for the Eagles’ other two hits. The bottom five of Decatur’s order went a combined 0-of-14 at the dish.

Braswell scored its second run of the game on an error by Uselton in center field on a fly ball. The Bengals then plated two runs on an RBI-double to center.  In the fifth, Braswell extended its advantage on an error by Decatur second baseman Cole Davis. Later in the sixth, Decatur reliever Nick Birmingham walked home two runs.

“Probably the most disappointing thing was just the effort,” Maddox said. “We didn’t play like it was that important to us tonight. That’s what’s disappointing. It’s a good 5A school and a good test for us. We’ll learn from it and move on.”

After winning eight straight games and going undefeated in the Bowie Tournament, Decatur has now lost three in a row. The Eagles will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Kennedale.

Decatur opens district play Tuesday, March 27 at Gainesville. The Eagles are 9-6 overall on the season.

“I talked to them at the end of [the game] about not taking winning for granted,” Maddox said. “I think right now we’re kind of getting a little taste of it. I think it will be good for us if we handle it the right way.”

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