Tucker overcomes scary moment to beat Decatur

Tucker coach Vince Byams greets his former assistant coach and Decatur head coach Robby Gilbert before the game.

Despite losing a player in the fifth inning, the Tucker Tigers rallied to beat the Decatur Bulldogs 5-3 at home April 8.

In the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied at 3-3, senior pitcher and first baseman Jaelin Sewell was near the dugout on deck warming up when a foul ball hit him on the right side of his face near his eye. He was attended to by the coaching staff from both teams, his parents and other volunteers.

Sewell was on the ground for more than five minutes before he was helped off the ground. Although his right eye was swollen shut and he was bleeding from his mouth, he was able to walk to the ambulance. Tucker head coach Vince Byams said seeing one of his players go down like that was tough for him and his players.

A Tucker player slides back to first base. Photos by Travis Hudgons

“It was definitely a scary moment. Those moments kind of happen in baseball, [but] you don’t see that every day,” Byams said. “I just told the guys that the best thing we can do is keep him in our thoughts and prayers, but in the meantime, we have to persevere and [finish] the game. It was hard for myself, hard for all the guys, but I’m glad we were able to rally for the [win], but at the end, all of our thoughts and prayers are with the fallen player.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Calden Nolf gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead on an RBI double. Two batters later, Nolf would run home after junior Trevor Flowers was walked, extending Tucker’s lead to 5-3. The Tigers played good defense in the seventh inning to seal the win.

The win improved Tucker’s record to 19-6 on the season. The Tigers defeated Southwest DeKalb 14-2 in an early game on that day. Byams said his team is getting better every day.

“Pitching and defense have been our strong points and we’ve been finding ways to get runs in tight games and we expect to continue with that,” he said.

With less than five games left in the regular season, Byams said he hopes his players continue to stay focused on their goals as they head into the post season.

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