BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity baseball team is still very much alive in the state Class 3A-East region tournament after sweeping a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday this week.
After Monday’s game was washed out by the storm, the Seahawks had to play on back-to-back days against two tough opponents to stay alive and earn a crack at top-seeded Centennial this afternoon on the road. In Tuesday’s game against visiting Howard, Decatur broke up an early 1-1 tie with two runs in the third to take a 3-1 lead, with the big hit coming off the bat of Lucas Koenig with two on and two outs.
Decatur added two more runs in the fifth inning without ever really hitting the ball hard. A scratch single followed by a couple of well placed bunts and some heads-up running plated two runs and the Seahawks led 5-1 after five. Howard cut the lead to 5-4 in the top of the sixth, however. The big hit came with two on and two outs when the Howard batter lofted a high fly to right. The Decatur right fielder lost the ball in the sun and two runs scored to cut the lead to 5-4.
The right-fielder redeemed himself on the very next play with a nice sliding catch to end the inning. Decatur added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth and Howard went quietly in seventh as the Seahawks held on to play another day.
The win over Howard advanced the Seahawks to the region quarterfinals with a match-up at home on Wednesday against fifth-seeded Reservoir. The two teams were tied at 4-4 after three innings but Decatur broke out in the fourth. After a scratch run gave the Seahawks the lead at 5-4, James Rossi hit a two-out, two-run home to deep left center to extend the Seahawks lead to 7-4.
Reservoir scratched its way back into the contest, but the Seahawks hung on for the 9-7 win to advance in the state playoffs. Decatur hits the road this afternoon for a region semifinal match-up with top-seeded Centennial.