By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Cory Huston had allowed only one hit, two walks and an unearned run through eight innings of Decatur’s Division 3 Semifinal against Gladstone on June 13, 2014.
And in the bottom of that final inning, he did what’s often yelled from baseball dugouts when the pitcher comes up to the plate – he helped himself.
Huston’s lone hit in four at bats drove in Carter Smith and pushed Decatur past the Braves 2-1. Smith also had scored the game’s first run, unearned, in the fifth inning, before Gladstone tied things up in the seventh.
“I was having a little off day with the hitting. Right time to do it, I guess,” Huston said that day. “I thought it was just my time to step up and help my team out. They had my back the whole game. It was my turn to step up and show them what it was all about.”
Huston struck out five over his eight innings to get the win on the mound. Gladstone pitcher Sam Pouliot gave up eight hits over his 7 2/3 before the game-winning hit, striking out nine while walking only two as well.
While Decatur went on to fall in the championship game to Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, that was the program’s sixth appearance in a Final and first in Division 3 after making five finales in Division 4.
Smith, who finished 2 for 4 from his lead-off spot, initially went on to play basketball at Concordia-Ann Arbor, then baseball at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and has signed to continue at Grand Valley State. Pouliot played at Grand Rapids Community College.
Click for coverage of the Semifinal from Second Half and watch the game-winning run score below from the NFHS Network.
PHOTO: Decatur players greet Carter Smith after he scores the game-winning run against Gladstone in a 2014 Division 3 Semifinal.