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Another strong pitching performance carried the Collins baseball team to victory Tuesday.
Senior southpaw David Decker struck out 12 and gave up just three hits as Collins clobbered visiting Portland Christian, 7-2.
“David pitched great,” Titans Coach Roy Bailey said. “Being left-handed and throwing from underneath and a three-fourths arm slot, he really gets great movement on his fastball. He was able to consistently work the strike zone and work ahead in the count.
“His great pitching effort, along with solid defense, won the game for us.”
Decker gave up only one hit through the first five innings as he improved to 2-0 on the season with a 1.19 earned-run average in five appearances. In 17.2 innings Decker has allowed eight hits and struck out 28.
At the plate, senior Nate Clifton led the way, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored. Senior Buddy Johnson added a pair of RBIs.
“Offensively, Nate really hit for us that game,” Bailey said.
The Titans scored two runs in the second, three in the fifth and two in the sixth.
In the second Paul Miller reached on a 1-out error, and Michael Smither walked. Then, after Decker lined out, Logan Bailey walked to load the bases. Clifton then delivered a 2-run single to right field.
To start the fifth Bailey reached on a dropped third strike, stole second and scored when Clifton tripled to center field. Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Clifton. Zac Wiley followed with a double to left field, and Bryson Dillow (who was running for Wiley) advanced to third on Austin Perry’s fly out and scored on a wild pitch.
The Eagles scored twice in the top of the sixth before the Titans added two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Smither led off with a single, advanced to second on Decker’s single, to third when Bailey was hit by a pitch and scored on Clifton’s sacrifice fly. Decker scored moments later when Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice.
Smither, who signed with Berea College on Thursday, scored two runs for the Titans.
Collins, which is third in Kentucky’s Prep Baseball Report Top 25 and seventh in the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25, plays sixth-ranked Tates Creek at 6 tonight at Derby City Field in the Louisville Invitational Tournament. The Titans then play St. Xavier, which is No. 1 in the Prep Baseball poll and No. 2 in the other poll, at 10 a.m. and Manual at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at St. X.
COLLINS 7, PORTLAND CHRISTIAN 2
Portland Christian 000 002 0 – 2 3 1
Collins 020 032 X – 7 6 2
Will Adams, Aaron Blake (6) and Josh Wellum. David Decker and Zac Wiley. W – Decker (2-0). L – Adams. 2B – Wiley (CHS), Adams (PC). 3B – Nate Clifton (CHS). Records – Portland Christian 2-6, Collins 22-1.