MADISON — One big factor doomed South Decatur in Monday night’s Madison Shawe Sectional baseball championship: errors.
The Cougars committed five errors that led to five unearned runs, and Class A No. 5 Rising Sun ended the Cougars season with a 9-4 decision.
“You can’t give bad teams errors and expect to be successful,” South Decatur coach Kyle Degler said. “When you give a great team like Rising Sun four or five unearned runs on five errors, it is hard to get away from. You’re not going to beat a good team like that. We were able to rally in a couple of places and score some runs, but it is hard mentally to dig yourself out of that hole.”
The Cougars (10-14) had no answer for Rising Sun centerfield speedster Bryant Housemeyer. He burned South Decatur early in the matchup by collecting a single and a double and scored three of the Shiners’ first four runs.
Story continues below gallery
The Cougars had a quick spark in the third inning when a hit by pitch and a Rising Sun error put runners on first and second. Oakley Billingsley singled to load the bases. Hunter Seegers then smacked a single to left field to plate two runs to cut the lead 3-2.
After the Shiners added three runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 6-2, South Decatur had another rally in the fifth. Seegers drove home Billingsley with a single. Seegers then scored on a Kyle Johannigman single to cut the lead to 6-4.
Rising Sun sealed the game by adding three more runs in the sixth.
The Cougars have a tough task in replacing departing seniors Billingsley, Seegers, Johannigman and Devin Thomas.
“Oakley and Hunter have been varsity starters since the first game of their freshman year,” Degler said. “Kyle has been with us as a freshman, and we asked him to play many positions for us. Devin came in as a first year-senior, and we stuck him in left field and he became our starter. We lose a lot of our leadership because our success is a testament to them.”
In the Cougars’ semifinal matchup with Jac-Cen-Del, the Eagles committed four errors, and it led to the Cougars prevailing 5-1.
Billingsley picked up the complete-game win. South Decatur tallied seven hits, with Brogan Howard hitting a double and Billingsley adding a triple.