SPORTS HEADLINES

Decatur loses late lead, falls to Sanger on road

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, April 3, 2018.
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Decatur could not hold a three-run lead in the seventh inning Tuesday night, falling to Sanger 7-6 on the road.

The Eagles gave up four runs in the final frame, with the tying run scoring on an illegal pitch called on Bodi Rascon. Decatur coach Tommy Maddox argued the call on the field, and three batters later, the Indians walked off on a wild pitch. 

“It’s the dumbest rule in baseball,” Maddox said. “Some umpires don’t care about it, some umpires care about it. He said his other foot was in front of the rubber by an inch. How he could tell he was in front of the rubber by an inch from standing behind him, [I don’t know].

“The kids fought hard. Both teams fought hard. It was a great game. For that guy to make a call like that in that situation is tough.”

Decatur trailed Sanger by one in the top of the sixth but the bottom of the Eagles’ order quickly mounted a rally.

After Dayne Chapman tied the game with a sacrifice fly, Cole Davis laced a ball into the left field gap that plated two runs. The Eagles got some insurance in the seventh and looked poised to come away with the win.

But Decatur’s lead evaporated almost as fast as they built it.

Sanger’s leadoff hitter in the seventh reached on an error. Beau Bedford walked the next batter on four pitches and a fly ball that got caught in the gusty wind flew over Triston Read’s head in right field, scoring two runs.

“Six runs should have been enough to win that game,” Maddox said. “Sometimes our youth is showing up a little bit. We’ll be better for this.”

The No. 5-9 hitters in the Eagles’ order went a combined 9-for-16 with two walks and five RBIs. Read was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Bedford went 3-for-4 and Uselton 1-for-2 with two walks. Chapman was 1-for-3 in the No. 8 hole and drove in two runs. Davis batted last and finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

“They were wonderful,” Rascon said. “Before [tonight] we were struggling a little bit with our batting lineup, but today we came through. It was just small errors.” 

Southpaw Wilson Hicks got the nod for Decatur on the mound. He scattered three runs on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out five and walked three.

Hicks ran into his only trouble of the game in the third inning. He gave up three runs in the frame, walking the leadoff batter. Hicks eventually got out of a bases loaded jam by inducing a ground ball to get a double play that ended the threat.

Bedford threw one inning of relief out of the bullpen, surrendering four runs on one hit and two walks.

The loss dropped the Eagles to 12-9 overall and 1-2 in District 9-4A. Decatur will host No. 1 Argyle on Friday.

“It’s like I just told them, when you’re going through something like that it’s a battle, and nothing is going to come easy,” Maddox said. “You’re going to have to fight through it and earn your own way. I think sometimes you hope for the easy to get you out of it. And it doesn’t get any easier. We’ve got Argyle this weekend, and we’ve got to strap it back on and get after it.”

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