(May 19, 2023) The Stephen Decatur baseball team came from behind to win the 3A South Region II championship, 10-4, over the Chesapeake Cougars – the defending state champs – Tuesday on its home field in Berlin.
“It just feels great to win games. It doesn’t happen all the time. I’m really happy for the guys,” said Decatur Coach Rich Ferro. “It was an overall really good team win.”
Top-seeded Decatur scored one run in the first inning. Chesapeake, the No. 3 seed, put four on the board in the top of the second.
The Seahawks added one run in the bottom of the fourth, to cut the Cougars’ lead to two.
Decatur’s pitching and defense held Chesapeake scoreless in the top of the fifth, then the home team kept it rolling in the bottom of inning.
The Berlin squad tallied six of its 11 hits in the fifth inning, and scored eight runs to pull ahead 10-4.
Neither team scored in the sixth inning. Senior Brooks Kendall struck out the last Chesapeake batter in the top of the seventh to end the game.
“It was nice to come back being down 4-1. We just chipped away,” Ferro said. “It was just a good team win. We didn’t lay down.”
Senior Stephen Wade and juniors AJ Kolb and Lukas Loring had two hits and two RBIs each. Senior Ryan McLaughlin chipped in with two hits and one RBI.
Seniors Gus Croll and Owen Knerr and junior Ryder Swanson (one RBI) had one hit each.
Junior Matt Wright threw two innings. He struck out one, walked one and gave up five hits.
Loring struck our four, walked one and allowed two hits in four innings. Kendall struck out two in the final inning.
“Lukas held us in and gave us a shot, and then Brooks came in to close it down, and we got some timely hits,” Ferro said. “That’s what it was, we played team baseball.”
Decatur advanced to the championship game with a 14-4 victory over the No. 4 Crofton Cardinals last Saturday in Berlin.
Crofton got on the board first with one run in the top of the first. Decatur answered with eight in the bottom of the inning.
The Cardinals added a second run in the third and two in the fifth to cut the Seahawks’ advantage to four.
Decatur tallied three in the fifth and three in the sixth to close out the game.
Junior Waylon Hobgood went 3-for-4, with two singles and a home run. He had two RBIs. Kolb also had three hits and two RBIs.
Croll contributed with two hits and two RBIs. On the mound, Croll struck out two, walked two and allowed four hits in three innings.
Kolb struck out one, walked two and gave up three hits in two innings.
Loring struck out two and walked one in the last inning.
The eight regional champions were re-seeded and Decatur earned the No. 1 spot. The Seahawks will face No. 8 Marriotts Ridge High School today, Friday, in the 3A state quarterfinals at 4 p.m. in Berlin.
“We just have to prepare like we always do,” Ferro said on Tuesday. “And that’s all we can do is play Friday and see what happens.”
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