Decatur tried to grind out another win in the Division 4 state baseball tournament. But a late scoring surge by Saginaw Nouvel did just enough to keep the Raiders behind in a 4-2 loss in the state semifinals Friday at Michigan State University.
Decatur (32-7) got out to an early lead when Jakob Southworth hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. Along with the Raiders’ defense, Southworth worked from the mound in keeping Nouvel (15-16-1) scoreless until the fifth.
He struck out the Panthers’ starting pitcher Jacob Burr to open the inning, but then gave up his second hit of the game on a single by Ryan Beyers to center field.
Harrison Dwan also singled and Sam Bartels loaded the bases with his own single to right.
Brady Alverson tied the game with a two-run double, and Justin Osmond made it a 4-1 game with a two-run single.
Decatur’s Ben Cerven stole home to cut the deficit in the sixth, but the Raiders never managed another scoring opportunity.
Southworth pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven batters while walking two.
The Raiders finished state runner-up in 2014, and were the 2012 Div. 4 state champions. They have won nine straight district titles, and set the bar high again this year after failing to get out the regional last season.
They fell to Lake Michigan Catholic in the regional title game at home, and have been looking to redeem themselves ever since.
Decatur avenged its regional title loss with a 5-0 victory over River Valley. The team then went on to win the school’s first-ever super regional with a 6-5 win against Colon in eight innings.
Saginaw Nouvel 4, Decatur 2
Nouvel 000 040 0 — 4 7 0
Decatur 100 001 0 — 2 5 1
WP — Jacob Burr, LP — Jakob Southworth
Top hitters — Southworth 1b, HR, RBI; Hunter Slavings 1b; Peyton Ebeling 1b. Saginaw: Ryan Beyers 1b; Harrison Dwan 1b; Sam Bartels 1b; Brady Alverson 2b, 2 RBIs; Justin Osmond 1b, 2 RBI; Jack Kujawa 1b.
Records — Decatur 32-7, Saginaw Nouvel 15-16-1.