Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
Brewer runner Chris Dickerson appeals to the umpire after being called out on a pickoff at second base. Decatur shortstop Graham Spencer (5) applied the tag on the play.
Rolling Red Raiders
Ingram, Dennis pitch Decatur
to sweep of visiting Brewer
By Brooke Milam
email@example.com · 340-2460
After his team took the first game of a doubleheader with Brewer High on Thursday, Decatur baseball coach Mike Burns' advice to his Red Raiders between games was short.
"No letdowns," Burns told his squad.
The Red Raiders got the message.
Decatur won the first game 9-0 and stayed focused in the second game for an 11-1 win in five innings to complete the sweep on the Red Raiders' home field.
"We played well in all areas in the first game, but I didn't want them to just be satisfied with that," Burns said. "I didn't want them to let their guard down."
Burns said focus has been a problem at times this season, but the Red Raiders (10-17) stayed sharp through both games against the Patriots.
Blaine Ingram and Will Dennis got the starts on the mound for the Red Raiders, and Burns said their efforts set the tone for the team.
"Both did a great job of throwing strikes and making them put the ball in play," Burns said. "We always say, 'Let your defense do the work.' "
In the opener, Ingram (5-0) pitched the complete-game shutout, striking out eight batters, while allowing four hits and no walks.
Dennis took the mound for Decatur in the second game, striking out three in five innings.
"Their pitchers really threw the ball well today," Brewer coach Jeff Thompson said. "I thought they had some really good pitching."
Ingram said the Decatur pitching staff has improved since the start of the season and is beginning to see the results.
"We've come a long way," Ingram said.
With Decatur's pitchers keeping Brewer's bats in check, the Red Raiders were confident at the plate.
"We've cut down on errors and walks and we we're really hitting today," Dennis said.
J.T. Boyd hit his first career home run in the first game, a three-run shot to left field that scored Clint Dunlap and Alex Gist in the third inning, giving Decatur a 3-0 lead.
With Decatur ahead 3-0, Brewer left two runners on base in the top of the fifth inning.
"Our guys were making great plays out there," Dennis said.
A double by Decatur's Tyler Spivey scored John Frost for a 4-0 Decatur lead in the bottom of the fifth, and the Red Raiders scored five runs in the sixth.
Pete Brown drove in Graham Spencer to start the inning, and Brown later scored on a Gist RBI.
Gist and Michael Schuster, running for Boyd, scored on a double by Frost. Later, a single by Dennis plated Frost.
Brewer's Justin Cole, Kevin Frost and Tony Dickerson each recorded a single in the first game.
Decatur got off to a fast start in the second game, posting five runs with two outs in the first inning.
Frost and Andy Prickett, running for Dennis, scored on a hit by Spencer, and William Sartain and Spencer scored on a single by Drei Marthaler. Shuster scored on a single by Dunlap, giving the Red Raiders a 5-0 lead.
Brewer had the bases loaded in the fourth inning when Matt Pinkerton drove in Cole for the Patriots' lone run.
Decatur added two more runs in the fourth when Gist scored on a RBI single by Frost and Dennis drove in Brown.
Marthaler, Dunlap and Gist scored on a double by Frost in the fifth inning, making the score 10-1 Decatur.
An RBI single by Dennis scored Frost to end the game because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Brewer's hits in the second game came from Cole, Jordan McCutcheon, Luke Mosteller and Chris Dickerson. Each had a single.
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