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Seahawks and Gators battle for Reg. title

(May 17, 2013) The battle between Stephen Decatur and the Mt. Hebron Vikings baseball teams went nine innings on Monday, with the Seahawks scoring a single run to advance to Wednesday’s 3A East Regional tournament semifinals.

The third-seeded Decatur squad received a first round bye, while the No. 6 Vikings faced the No. 11 Annapolis Panthers last Friday for the chance to play the Seahawks.

Mt. Hebron outscored Annapolis 15-5 and made the trip to Berlin Monday.

Both the Seahawks and Vikings had opportunities throughout the game, but neither could generate a run.

In the top of the ninth, Decatur successfully completed a double play for the Vikings’ second and third outs.

In the bottom of the inning, Grant Donahue was walked and Austin Dundore, a sophomore, came in to run the bases for Decatur’s sophomore pitcher.

Junior Andrew Borradaile’s hit went through the legs of Mt. Hebron’s second baseman and Dundore advanced to third.

Senior Chase Church stepped to the plate and lobbed a blooper just past first base, which dropped in fair territory and Dundore scored to give Decatur the 1-0 victory.

“I feel like we had the ability to score, we just needed timely hitting,” said Decatur Coach Rich Ferro. “Pitching and defense was phenomenal. Grant was good on the mound and kept us in it and we made plays when we had to.”

Donahue struck out 10 Vikings, walked one and allowed just on hit.

Sophomore Justin Meekins had two hits. Juniors Chase Coursey and Jacob Hickman and Church each had a hit.

“The boys were excited, but it’s only one game and there’s a lot of baseball left to be played,” Ferro said after Monday’s match. “We’ve got to make sure they keep it in perspective. We don’t want them to peak right now or think they’re invincible.”

The No. 10 River Hill Hawks visited Berlin Wednesday for regional semifinals action.

Decatur led 4-1 after the first inning, but River Hill chipped away at the home team’s advantage and tied the score at 4-4 in the sixth.

“I think the bus ride kills teams…Their pitcher is a really command guys and he didn’t have his command in the first inning so we were very fortunate to get those runs,” Ferro said after the 5-4 win. “We put the bat on the ball, but we took advantage of them being a little bit flat.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Donahue got a base hit, then Borradaile knocked a singles to bring Church to the plate. His hit drove in what would be the winning run.

Decatur will host the No. 4 Reservoir Gators today, Friday, at 4 p.m. for the regional title.

“It’s going to take a little bit of us playing well and a little bit of some luck,” Ferro said.

Stephen Decatur sophomore Grant Donahue fires a pitch during Monday’s 3A East Regional quarterfinal game against Mt. Hebron. Decatur won 1-0 in 9 innings.

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