The Rode Show Comes to NJ: Nick Decker Goes 3-3

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP  –– The Prep Baseball Report's high school draft expert Nathan Rode made his annual trip to the Northeast this week with the #RodeShow, making stops in New York to see Lenny Torres and Brandon Neeck and eying his path down the New Jersey Turnpike into Pennsylvania to see Mike Siani. Unfortunately, Mother Nature's undefeated streak for the spring of 2018 continued on, and foiled his plans to see Siani this weekend – but our High School Draft expert ended up being able to cross the Delaware River back into New Jersey to see No. 1 ranked N.J. 2018, Maryland recruit OF Nick Decker (Seneca HS, NJ) in the first round of the Diamond Classic against Gloucester City.

Decker has caught the eye of major league scouts this spring after impressing in the summer of 2017 at various national events and continuing to climb throughout the fall and the beginning of spring season.

A clear cut prospect, Decker's rise to stardom in New Jersey hasn't gone unnoticed by high school pitching coaches in South Jersey. His imposing 6-foot-1 210-pound frame and powerful left handed swing couldn't have been overlooked for very long, even with the most old-school, inattentive high school coaches around.

From the first inning, Decker made an impact on the game. Seneca went up 2-0 in the first when Ryan Lopez reached on an error and Decker singled off the shortstop's glove. Binghamton recruit '18 INF Kevin Gsell drove both runners in with a lined single to left that was misplayed by the left fielder.

In the top of the second inning, Scott Johnson led off with a single and was eventually driven in on a Lopez double into the gap. Because Lopez was now on 2B and with a base open, Decker was intentionally walked, the first of two straight plate appearances that would end up with him at first base.

Seneca would strike again in the 4th inning, plating three runners – highlighted by a Luke Hoey 2-run single that made the game 8-0, and again for two runs in the 5th inning. With two on and two outs, Decker launched a deep fly ball to left-center field, a double that brought in two runners. He was eventually thrown out at third base trying to extend it into a triple after the cut off throw was fumbled.

With the score 8-0 and moving to the 7th inning, Decker would come up with a runner on second base – and blooped one in front of the left fielder for a single and an RBI – he would later come around to score on a ground out.

Luke Hoey went the distance for Seneca – a shutout performance allowing just one hit striking out 7 batters. Decker was 3-3 with a 2B, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored, Ryan Lopez went 3-4 with 2 2B's and Kevin Gsell was 2-4 with an RBI.

Seneca advances to face St. Augustine in the next round of the Diamond Classic. The Hermits defeated Gloucester Catholic earlier in the day in a thrilling 4-3 game. Josh Hood drove in the go ahead run with a double late in the game.


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