Decatur comeback falls short

The Decatur baseball team rallied from a 6-1 deficit only to lose 6-5 to Puyallup on Thursday.

“It’s the hardest fought game we’ve played all year,” said Decatur senior Tyler Olson. “It took all our energy and heart to come back. Right now our motto is go hard or go home.”

The Gators needed the win to keep alive for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Decatur also needed Jefferson to beat Rogers on Thursday to stay in the playoff race, but that didn’t happen.

Against Puyallup, Decatur trailed 5-0 but loaded the bases in the fifth inning. Brett Lusebrink was hit by a pitch and James Van Stralen walked in to score from third base, but it was the only run Decatur would score in the inning.

Puyallup scored a run in the top of the sixth inning, but Decatur came back again and loaded the bases. Ryan Hendrickson hit a sacrifice fly that scored Olson from third. But again, the Gators came away with one run despite loading the bases.

In the seventh inning, the Gators rallied again.

Lusebrink started the inning off with a double. One out later, Olson followed with a single. Matt Britt came through in the clutch with a two-RBI double to cut the score to 6-4.

“I was just thinking base hit,” Britt said. “I wanted to stay alive and keep the inning going. We were going like there was no tomorrow.”

With two outs, Hendrickson hit an RBI single as Britt scored from third base to make it a 6-5 game, but that was all the offense Decatur would get.

“Our kids played their rear ends off,” Decatur coach Jeff Housman said. “They have nothing to be ashamed of. They really believed they could win. We just got our offense going too late.”

Decatur has one game left in the season: on Monday at Curtis.

Curtis beat Decatur 6-2 the first time the teams played.

“We’ll probably face J.T. Zink again and we really didn’t get many hits off him last time,” Van Stralen said. “We just got to hit the ball.”

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