SPORTS HEADLINES

Argyle edges Decatur, spoils Rascon’s 12-strikeout performance

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, March 29, 2019.
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Knotted at one in the bottom of the second inning, Argyle’s Hayden Clearman hit a slow-rolling ground ball up the middle into centerfield.

Clearman took a wide turn at first base, sprinting towards second. The throw from Beau Bedford was late, as Clearman legged a single into a double.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

He advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Austin King drove him in later in the inning on an RBI-groundout. That proved to be the difference, as No. 1 Argyle outlasted No. 6 Decatur 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel Friday night.

“It’s frustrating that an error in the second inning is the last run scored,” said Decatur coach Tommy Maddox. “They scratched [across] one more than we did, and that’s kind of what it came down to. It was a good baseball game between two good teams.”

Decatur starter Bodi Rascon and Argyle starter Chad Ricker put on a show for most of the game, combining for 24 strikeouts.

Rascon scattered two runs on three hits over five and two-thirds innings. Ricker gave up one run on one hit, tossing a complete-game.

“Bodi pitched great. Ricker did a great job, too,” Maddox said. “[Rascon] showed tonight what he’s made of. Throwing 113 pitches and getting us to that point to where we had a chance in the top of the seventh was huge.”

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

Wilson Hicks teed off on a belt-high fastball in the top of the first inning, taking Ricker yard for Decatur’s only run and hit.

Ricker retired 18 of the last 19 batters he faced.

“We never really made adjustments to put the ball in play,” Maddox said. “For a while we were trying to match velocity with hard swings. And that doesn’t go so well. When we did have good swings and put it in play, they made the plays they had to make.”

Argyle’s Preston King answered Hicks’ solo blast with one of his own in the bottom of the first, tying the game at one.

King ended the game 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. He and Clearman combined for three of Argyle’s four hits.

Rascon escaped danger in the fifth inning, getting a strikeout and groundout to work out of a bases loaded jam. Argyle left eight runners on base.

“With [Rascon] on the mound we knew [scoring opportunities would be at a premium],” said Argyle coach Ricky Griffin. “We’ve seen a lot of good lefties and he’s right up there with them. He threw really, really well tonight.

“We had some chances to score more runs and he just made good pitches with people on base.”

Decatur fell to 18-3 and 1-1 in District 8-4A. The two schools will meet again April 16 in Decatur.

“I think we proved tonight we can play with them,” Maddox said. “We just have to find a way to scratch one more run.”

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