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Titans Blast Back Into First

Titans Blast Back Into First imagePosted: 4/15/2008 9:35:00 AM

Tacoma, WA - The Tacoma Titans entered the weekend in a flat-footed tie with Lower Columbia for the top spot in the NWAACC Western Division. Four home games lay in front of them, two versus Centralia on Saturday, and two against Grays Harbor on Sunday. These long weekends can really test a pitching staff, with 32 innings in two days, and the offense is often asked to pick up the slack. Neither group needed much assistance on this weekend, however, as the pitching staff allowed only 9 earned runs, while the offense exploded for 54 runs over the four games. TCC blasted Centralia 12-4 and 15-5 on Saturday, the dismantled Grays Harbor 8-5 and 19-2 on Sunday. Coupled with a Lower Columbia split with Green River on Saturday, Tacoma moves back into sole possession of first place in the division.

Game 1 vs Centralia - The Titans wasted no time in pouncing on the Trailblazers early, putting up two runs in the bottom of the first, then two more in the third, two in the fourth, and a decisive six runs in the fifth. Sophomore catcher Anthony Dallosto paced the club with three hits in three at bats, including two doubles and two runs scored. Todd Muecklisch and Justin Thornton provided the big blasts, with Thornton dropping a two-run homerun over the right field wall. Muecklisch was not to be outdone by his middle infield mate though, as he deposited a two-strike offering over the scoreboard in left with the bases loaded in the fifth for a grand slam. Sophomore starter Jesse Nunley didn't need much help on the day, as he stymied Centralia to the tune of two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win. He struck out five and walked only one.

Game 2 vs Centralia - The results were much the same as the opener, as the Titans jumped out to a 4-1 lead after three innings. They pushed the lead to 6-1 after the fourth, and when Centralia made things a bit interesting in their half of the fifth, scoring three runs to draw within 6-4, TCC responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull away, eventually winning 15-5. All but two Titan starters notched a hit in the contest, but the game's offensive star was undoubtedly Skyler Kitchen. The redshirt freshman had already notched a pinch hit single in the first game, after he replaced Diego Robles, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. He continued his hot hitting, going 3-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored, including his first career collegiate homerun in the third inning, a two-run blast. He nearly repeated the feat in the seventh, banging a Centralia offering off the top of the fence for a double. He was not the only Titan to leave the yard, though. Freshman catcher Matt Gomes capped off the fifth inning with a grand slam, and fellow frosh Will McKenney ended the game via the 10-run mercy rule in the eighth with an enormous bomb that nearly landed on 12th Avenue. That offense was more than enough for Pat Meisenheimer, who checked the Trailblazers on three hits and two earned runs over five innings of work. He yielded to Brandon Wiese, who picked up the save by working three strong innings of shutout ball.

Game 1 vs Grays Harbor - Once again the Titan bats spoke early, as Allan Bennett led off the Tacoma half of the first inning with a sharp single to center, then raced home one pitch later when Dallosto smashed a double off the right field wall. Dallosto would later score in the inning as well to make it a quick 2-0 lead for TCC. Grays Harbor quickly countered in the top of the second when Rico Adams launched a 2-run homerun off of Tacoma starter Evan Wilson. The Chokers added another run in the third , but the Titans answered back with a two-run shot by Dallosto to put the TCC back up 4-3. Grays Harbor tied the game in the fifth, then took the lead 5-4 in the top of the sixth thanks to a couple of Titan errors. As the game was scheduled for only seven innings, Tacoma had to answer quickly, and they did, scoring four times in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. Wiese, who came on in relief, earned the victory. Dallosto was 4-4 on the game, with five RBIs, and was a triple away from the cycle. He is now hitting .492 on the year, and an astounding .857 with runners in scoring position.

Game 2 vs Grays Harbor - Things got out of hand quickly in the finale, as Tacoma racked up seven runs in the first inning, and ten runs in the second to stake an early 17-0 lead and would not look back. They would add two more runs in the fourth inning to cruise to the 19-2 victory and complete the weekend sweep. Every Titan starter crossed the plate at least one time in the win, with Muecklisch and Robles each scoring four times. Robles also had five RBIs, including a three-run homerun in the game to go along with three hits. Mueckisch and Thornton each had three hits as well. Freshman Blake Webster got the win on the mound for TCC, giving up a lone triple in the third in his outing. The righthander did not allow a run.

Tacoma (13-13 Overall, 8-2 Western Division) travels to Mt Tahoma High School on Saturday to take on local rival Pierce College in a doubleheader starting at 1 pm. The two teams will square off again on Sunday in one 9-inning game at TCC's Minnitti Field.

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