Oberle throws gem as Decatur blanks Krum in 8-4A opener

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
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With no outs and a man aboard in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday night, Chase Oberle wheeled and fired to second base.

Waiting behind the runner was Decatur shortstop Eddie Fernandez, who applied the tag to the Krum runner before he got back to the bag. Oberle eluded danger again later in the frame, working around two consecutive two-out singles.

He put the finishing touches on his complete-game shutout in the seventh, recording his 11th strikeout to seal the Eagles’ 3-0 win over the Bobcats in the District 8-4A opener.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

“It’s always important to get easy outs,” Oberle said. “The fastball was working and I was able to work ahead in the count. The curveball looked good, too.”

Oberle scattered five hits over seven innings, walking one.

The junior was able to work his way out of the few jams he faced. In the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, he rung up Krum batters to retire the side.

“He showed it last year, but this year he’s been so consistent in the strike zone to give us a chance,” said Decatur coach Tommy Maddox. “His off-speed pitches are good and he has the ability to keep hitters off-balance.”

Oberle threw 69.9 percent (65) of his 93 pitches for strikes.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

“To throw seven innings and be under 100 pitches, he was really efficient,” Maddox said. “He was doing the things he needs to do. He’s been doing it all year. It seems like every time he goes out there he gets a little stronger. It was a good outing.”

Oberle got the scoring started in the bottom of the second. His opposite field RBI-single plated Beau Bedford to give Decatur an early 1-0 lead.

Later in the third, Bedford scored a run on an infield single and Fernandez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Bedford ended the night 2-for-3. Wilson Hicks was 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Bobcats outhit the Eagles 5-4, as Decatur was held scoreless for the remainder of the game.

“That’s probably the only disappointing thing of the night,” Maddox said. “Offensively, I felt like our approach wasn’t very good. We were trying to do too much. But you get a pitching performance like that and it will cover some mistakes.”

The Eagles improved to 18-2. Decatur will play defending 4A champion and No. 1 Argyle Friday night on the road.

“I’ve told them all year, it really doesn’t matter who shows up. We have to do what we do,” Maddox said. “I think that’s really important in big games. Everyone’s adrenaline is going to be pumping and they’re going to want to play well. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”

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