By Richard Greene
With the tying runs on second and third, Decatur senior Jeremy Adams found a little extra for his 78th and final pitch Saturday afternoon.
Adams blew a fastball past Mineral Wells’ designated hitter Aaron Wheeler to finish off a 3-1 victory over the Rams at Eagle Field.
“I got down 2-0 and the only thing I was thinking was that I didn’t want to walk him,” Adams said. “I then got it to 2-2 and I told myself I wanted this K. I reared back and put a little extra on the last pitch.”
The victory gave the Eagles (10-7, 2-0) sole possession of first place in District 7-3A as the league’s lone unbeaten team. Decatur beat Lake Worth 4-0 Friday behind a one-hit gem from Chris Saunders.
“We’ve really played well the first two district games,” said Decatur coach Chris Carter.
“This thing is wide open. In the first two games, the scores have been tight. This district is really anybody’s. The key will be who makes the least mistakes pitching, defensively and baserunning.”
Through two games, the Eagles have been nearly perfect on the mound and defensively.
After Saunders’ one-hitter Friday, Adams followed with a nearly as impressive outing. He scattered seven hits against a dangerous Mineral Wells lineup, giving up one run. Adams struck out five. He walked one and hit one batter.
Adams prevented big innings, attacking the corners of the plate, especially with runners aboard. He got Mineral Wells to hit into three double plays, including one he started to end the fifth.
“I’m big at hitting my spots,” Adams said. “I know I’m not going to overpower anyone.”
Carter praised the senior’s performance.
“Jeremy did what he always does,” the Decatur coach said. “He’s great at hitting his spots. He’s consistently around the plate and can work in and out.”
The Eagles’ defense behind Adams was flawless as Decatur went a second straight game without an error. Sophomore third baseman Christian Carrillo made four stops, including three to end innings. He made a backhand stop, tagged third and threw across to first in time for an inning-ending double play in the sixth to keep the game tied at 1.
“The sophomore stepped up big time,” Carter said. “He had three short hoppers that he had to come get and then made the tough backhand at the bag for the double play.”
After Mineral Wells squeezed across a run in the sixth to tie the game, Decatur mounted a quick answer in the bottom of the inning.
DJ Roberts led off of with a rocket up the middle that hit Mineral Wells pitcher Matt Tincher in the leg. Adams, who had knocked in Decatur’s first run in the first with a RBI-single, followed with his second single of the game.
Designated hitter Colton Parker cashed in both of them with a double to deep center field to put Decatur up 3-1.
“That’s what we expect of our seniors,” Carter said about Roberts, Adams and Parker. “DJ got it started with the hit off the pitcher. Colton then came through with the big hit.”
The three sixth-inning hits doubled Decatur’s total for the game against Tincher. The tough Mineral Wells left-hander struck out six and walked one in six innings.
While Mineral Wells threatened in the seventh, Adams found enough to make the 3-1 lead hold up and get the Eagles to 2-0 in district.
“This puts us in a good spot and gives us a good feeling going into Castleberry Tuesday,” Adams said.