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Baseball: Sanger falls short of closing out series with Decatur

ARGYLE — Perhaps a sweep was too good to be true.

Sanger gave up only three hits to District 9-4A foe Decatur and had the lead through three innings, but it left Friday's Game 2 kicking itself after walking 13 batters and hitting two more in a 6-3 loss that evened up the Class 4A Region II quarterfinal series. 

Sanger was held to one hit over the final four innings.

The loss sets up a decisive Game 3 at 2 p.m. Saturday in Argyle.

"You've got to handle every aspect of the game and control what you can control," Sanger coach Steve Ford said. "We didn't do that with our pitches. I'm proud of the way we fought. We hit the ball hard against a good pitcher. These guys are locked in, and I think that will carry over."

Decatur (25-10) came into Friday's second game licking its wounds after falling 7-2 in the series opener. That game was called in the top of the seventh Thursday with Sanger leading 3-1. The Indians scored four runs, including a home run by Clay Webster, when that frame resumed Friday.

Sanger then jumped out to a 3-2 lead in Game 2 but had trouble maintaining that momentum. Meanwhile, Decatur kept taking advantage of free passes at the plate. The Eagles scored twice in the fourth inning to take the lead, then added another run in the fifth.

Tucker DuBois led off the seventh with a solo home run to extend the Decatur lead to 6-3.

The loss was a hard pill to swallow for Sanger, which already has seven extra-base hits, including Webster's home run, in the first two games of the series. The Indians racked up eight hits in their Game 1 win, most of which came off Decatur ace Bryce Elder, who came in having tossed back-to-back no-hitters.

Ford said his team will be ready Saturday.

"We have Bryson Bell pitching for us, and he's done a good job for us this year," Ford said. "We've hit the ball well, too, so we'll be ready to play. I would have loved to get the sweep, but these guys are fighting hard."

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

Sanger 7, Decatur 2 (GAME 1)

Sanger 001 200 4 -- 7 8 2
Decatur 010 000 1 -- 2 6 2

WP - Zane Walden. LP - Bryce Elder. SV: Julien Ly. HR - S: Clay Webster. 3B - S: Brock Howard. 2B - S: Luke Pennington (2). D: Trey Penny. Records - Sanger 22-9-3, Decatur 24-10.

Decatur 6, Sanger 3 (GAME 2)

Decatur 020 210 1 -- 6 3 1
Sanger 111 000 0 -- 3 5 2

WP - Wilson Hicks. LP - Dayton Harkey. SV: Derek Potts. HR - D: Tucker DuBois. 2B - S: Griffyn Welborn, Katz Higa, Luke Pennington. Records - Sanger 22-10-3, Decatur 25-10.