Decatur’s Frost belts double in loss to South
By Dennis Victory
TROY — Decatur High’s John Frost was looking for something, anything to hit.
Playing in the eight-team Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Underclassmen All-Star Showcase at Troy University’s Riddle-Pace Field, Frost’s North Team 6 had struggled with Team 1 pitching throughout Saturday’s game.
But Frost found a pitch, belting a low-inside fastball into left field for a double. Frost’s hit was one of only four for the team, which fell 5-2 to South Team 1.
“I like that pitch. I never felt it hit the bat,” said Frost, who added that he knew the hit was solid when it left the bat.
Frost scored the final Team 6 run after moving to third on a ground-out and racing home on a wild pitch in the sixth.
The rising junior couldn’t explain the lack of offense. Team 1 pitchers struck out eight and walked none.
“That’s the best pitching I’ve seen this year,” said Frost, who played third base. “Maybe we might have been nervous because of the scouts in the stands.”
Lawrence County’s Ethan Wallen singled in the fourth, stole second and scored the first run on a single by Russellville’s Jake Ward.
Austin left-hander Russ Sandlin hit three of hardest balls all weekend during his first at-bat, but all were foul. He struck out looking when the umpire refused to grant his time-out request. Sandlin hit a rocket in his final at-bat, but pitcher Dusty Roberts of Baldwin County snagged the shot inches from his face.
North Team 5 started the day with a doubleheader, losing 6-0 to South Team 4 and winning 6-2 over South Team 2. Leroy’s Phillip Erwin, a rising sophomore for Team 4, blasted the first home run of the showcase in the win over Team 5.
Team 5 struggled offensively in the first game, but belted eight hits in the winning second game, including a two-run double down the third-base line from Speake’s Zach Vick, who played catcher. The drive on an inside fastball broke a 1-all tie and gave Team 5 a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“We picked it up hitting,” Vick said after the second game. “I’ve been playing Class 1A ball and haven’t seen a lot of fast pitching like that.”
Hartselle left-hander Luke Bole pitched a pair of scoreless innings as North Team 7 fought back for a 6-6 tie with South Team 3. North Team 7 tied it in the last inning, and organizers left the game in a deadlock, rather than continue. Bole struck out three and allowed only one base runner on a walk, but picked him off at second.
The night’s final game between North Team 6 and South Team 3 was still going at press time.
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