Sun June 17, 2012
By Mike Penn
This year's state tournament had quite a few father-son combinations that provided early father's day gifts. Decatur followed suit. Head coach Ben Botti had two sons on the team as did assistant coach Jeff Kawaski, who also had two sons of his own on the team.
Decatur played the game extremely well. Confident, hard-nosed, and winners are all words that would describe this Decatur team. Watching them play was a joy. It was evident that they had a lot of experience.
Facing Alex Daar was going to be a tall order for the Decatur Raiders, but they certainly weren't intimidated. Daar, a senior, had eye-popping stats with an ERA of 0.10 and a fastball that touched 89 at times on Saturday. It took Decatur a few times through the order to break through but they finally did in the fourth scoring two runs. They then followed those two runs with two more in the fifth. The score was 4-1 after five innings, and it remained that way until the end of the game.
Junior T.J. Stambek had a huge day for Decatur, going 2-3 at the plate with an RBI. Stambek hit a huge double to the right center gap that drove in a run and initiated the scoring for Decatur.
Meanwhile, junior pitcher Tim Cerven was crafty on the mound and escaped a few jams. He never got flustered on the day and consistently made pitch after pitch. His line on the day was seven innings pitched, fives hits, and one strike out on the day.
For Decatur this was a hard fought win for a hard fighting team. The final score was 4-1. Congrats not only the Botti and Kawaski families, but to all of the Raider boys and their dads who spent countless hours with them playing ball.