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Wins Keep Coming For Titans

Wins Keep Coming For Titans imagePosted: 3/14/2009 11:46:00 PM

Tacoma, WA - TCC took 3 of 4 games this past week to push their overall record to 5-1 on the young season. Snow and rain have forced several cancellations so far this year, but the skies cleared enough on Wednesday and Friday of this week to get four contests in; two each versus Concordia University and Spokane Falls Community College.

Wednesday pitted the Cavaliers of Concordia against the Titans, with TCC dispatching CU handily in both ends of the doubleheader. Game one went 7-1 for the Titans, while the back end tallied 9-1 in favor of Tacoma. Colton Brown notched his second win of the year in the first game, and fellow freshman Micah Deibell earned his first collegiate victory in the second game. Freshman shortstop Ryne Briley led the offensive attack with three hits and three runs scored in the twin bill. Collin Bennett tore up the base paths with three stolen bases on the afternoon.

Friday brought to town the first NWAACC opponent of the year for Tacoma in the form of the Spokane Sasquatch. Spokane is perennially one of the top teams in the conference and this year is no different. They boast one of the top pitching staffs in the NWAACC and it was on full display this day. Spokane pitchers held Titan hitters scoreless until the 8th inning of game one, styming two early rallies with well-timed pickoffs. Bennett led off the bottom of the first inning with a double down the left field line, but was promptly picked off before he could be bunted over to third base. Briley followed suit in the second inning with a leadoff double of his own but was quickly dispatched by the hidden ball trick. The Titan bats were not exactly silent, totaling 10 hits on the day, but a lack of execution and timely hitting early helped seal their fate.

Tacoma Head Coach Donegal Fergus on the loss, "We did a phenomenal job of showcasing every baserunning mistake in the book in game one. I helped Collin (Bennett) get picked to start the game and followed that up with getting CJ (Dailey) thrown out at the plate to end the inning. First rate coaching by me. Then we fall for the oldest and least effective trick in the book - the hidden ball. It was all downhill from there."

TCC did manage a late rally to put five runs on the board in the final two frames but it was for naught, as five early errors gave Spokane an insurmountable lead. The Spokane offense is also highly regarded and they showed why in the first game, taking full advantage of all those Titan miscues to take the opening game 9-5.

Game two was a matchup of two of the most highly regarded starting pitchers in the entire NWAACC in Titan freshman Colton Brown, and Spokane sophomore Mike Richard. Both pitchers battled like heavyweight prize fighters, with each keeping the opposing offense scoreless through the first three innings. TCC finally broke through in the fourth with a lone run. Freshman first baseman Will Pierce walked and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. He was then lifted for a pinch runner in Skyler Kitchen. Kitchen stole third and scampered home when the throw got away. This would prove to be all the offense Brown needed. He checked the Sasquatch hitters on one hit over six innings of work, while striking out seven to earn his third win of the year. Tacoma eventually would tack on four insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth against a couple of Spokane relievers to secure a 5-0 victory, but Brown's performance ruled the day.

"I was extremely proud of the way we competed in the second game today, especially after the dismal performance we gave in the first one. Browny was a horse on the mound, even without his best stuff. He showed today why he has a chance to be a special player for us. Our offense also rebounded nicely, and against one of the best pitchers we'll face this season. Mike Richard is a stud for Spokane and we battled him tough today. We weren't flashy but we executed when we had to and put some good swings together. If we can battle like this all year we have a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs," said Fergus.

Freshman second baseman Matt Williams was the spark that TCC needed in the second game, going two for three with a run scored and one RBI. He also swiped two bases.

Tacoma was scheduled to travel to Vancouver on Sunday, March 15 to take on Concordia twice more, but rain has forced those games to be postponed. No make-up date has been determined. Tacoma is now 5-1 on the season. They head to Walla Walla and the Tri Cities next Thursday, March 19 to compete in the East Region Invitational, hosted jointly by Walla Walla CC and Columbia Basin College.

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