BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity baseball team’s remarkable season came to a close on Monday with a 9-2 upset loss to Centennial in the state Class 3A-East Region quarterfinals at home.
Decatur entered the 3A-East tournament as the number-three seed and appeared to be on a collision course with Bayside Conference rival Bennett for the region tournament. However, the Seahawks fell to visiting Centennial, 9-2, on Monday, ending what was otherwise a highly successful season.
Decatur finished the regular season with a 15-3 record. The Seahawks dominated early, reeling off seven straight wins in impressive fashion before suffering their first loss to Bennett, 4-0, back on April 11. Decatur responded by winning the next seven in a row by an average score of 13-1 to improve to 14-1. The Seahawks stumbled a little down the stretch, falling to Parkside and then Bennett again in the penultimate game of the season. The Seahawks rallied to beat Indian River in the regular season finale.
Decatur was rewarded with a number-three seed and a first-round bye when the state Class 3A-East region brackets were released last week. Centennial, seeded 11th in the 3A-East, upset six-seeded Annapolis last Friday to earn a trip to the Eastern Shore and a second round game against the Seahawks on Monday.
Decatur scored first, collecting a single run in the first inning when Steve Ruggiere singled home Teron Tyre from second for an early 1-0 lead. Connor Molloy then singled, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Eric Myers lined out to third to end the Seahawk threat.
In the third inning, Centennial got a lead-off infield hit and attempted to advance the runner with a sacrifice bunt. The Seahawks got the out at first and turned it into a double play when the Centennial runner took a wide turn at second and was picked off with a snap throw from Decatur first baseman Mike O’Neill. The next Centennial batter singled to right, making the big double play even more significant. However, the next Eagle batter basked a long fly ball over the left field fence to put Centennial ahead, 2-1, with a lead it would never relinquish.
Decatur came right back in the bottom of the third with a lead-off double by Tyre and a walk by Justin Meekins, but the runners were stranded when the inning ended in a double play. In the top of the fourth, Centennial got a lead-off walk and the runner advance to second on a ground out. The next Eagle batter launched a deep home run over the scoreboard in left field that landed in an adjacent softball field to push Centennial’s lead to 4-1. Centennial never looked back, building its lead in the late innings and finishing off the Seahawks with a 9-2 to end the Decatur season.