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Upper Decker: Eastview senior provides spark in regular-season finale win over Mahtomedi

By Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine, 05/23/19, 12:00PM CDT


Kathan Decker pitched three shutout relief innings and scored twice for the Lightning.

Kathan Decker struck out five of the 10 batters he faced in three innings of scoreless relief in Eastview's 5-2 victory over Mahtomedi. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

Mahtomedi shortstop Blake Hogan tried to get a handle on the throw from the plate as Eastview's Ryan Munson stole second in the fourth inning. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

As Eastview's leadoff hitter, senior outfielder Kathan Decker said he expects to be the spark plug for his team’s offense. It’s just that he usually accomplishes that with his bat.

On Thursday in a regular-season finale, Decker provided that needed spark with his pitching arm and lifted the Lightning to a 5-2 victory over Mahtomedi.

Decker replaced starter Austin Greven to start the fourth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced. He set the Zephyrs down in order for the first time in the game and faced just 10 batters over three innings.

Eastview shortstop Brady Schmitz throws to home to catch Mahtomedi's Andrew Murphy in a third-inning rundown. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

First report

Kathan Decker pitched three innings of shutout relief and had two hits and two runs scored to lead Eastview to a 5-2 victory over Mahtomedi on Thursday.

Mahtomedi, the defending Class 3A state champion, pounded out six hits to take a 2-0 lead after three innings. Decker, who started in left field, relieved Lightning starter Austin Greven to start the fourth inning. He struck out the first two batters he faced and allowed the Zephyrs just three batters in an inning for the first time in the game.

Decker’s single leading off the bottom of the fourth was Eastview’s first hit off Zephyrs starter Johnny DeVore and sparked a game-tying rally.

Ryan Munson, batting behind Decker, singled and doubled and scored two runs for Eastview, a Class 4A state tournament team a year ago, now No. 7 in the Star Tribune metro rankings from May 13. The Lightning (15-5, 13-5) had already clinched its regular-season South Suburban Conference championship, finishing a game ahead of Burnsville and Farmington.

Jacob Arlandson had a pair of singles and a run scored and Leo Bustos drove in a run with a single for the No. 6-3A Zephyrs (11-8, 10-6).

Decker, pitching for just the second time this season, retired the first seven batters he faced, striking out five, and faced just 10 batters over three innings.

DeVore, who entered the game with a 3-1 record and a 1.48 ERA, surrendered four runs on six hits and a balk. He struck out four and walked none.

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