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Titans Maintain Hold on 2nd Place in West

Posted: 4/26/2006 10:10:42 AM

After rain and poor field conditions forced the Tacoma Titans to postpone all four weekend games, great weather finally appeared; as did solid baseball. The Titans (16-9, 8-2) swept a doubleheader on Monday from Grays Harbor CC, 5-4 and 8-7. On Tuesday, TCC kept its hold on second place in the NWAACC Western Division by splitting a doubleheader with Green River CC. The Gators took the first game 4-2, with Tacoma bouncing back to claim the nightcap 5-4 in 11 innings. The Titans return to action this weekend in a matchup of the top two teams in the division, as they host the Red Devils of Lower Columbia College at Minnitti Field for a two-game set on Saturday; then travel down to Longview for a single game on Sunday. Games begin at 1pm on both days.

Tacoma, WA - The Titans got their day off to a good start by winning the series opener against Grays Harbor CC 5-4. Starting pitcher TJ Peabody hurled a complete game (7 innings) giving up only 4 hits and 2 earned runs with 5 strikeouts. With the win, Peabody evened his record for the season at 2-2. On the offensive side it was the first inning that got the Titans going, as they needed only 2 hits to score 4 runs. In the initial frame Tacoma got base hits from Bryan Ruff and Seth Drake as well as a sacrifice fly from Matt Burpee. That was all the offense needed in the frame, as TCC capitalized on 3 walks and 2 hit batters. Ruff swung the big bat on the afternoon, going 1-2 with a run scored and 3 RBI. Jake Valentine and Jeff Savas also had good days offensively for head coach Donegal Fergus, as Valentine went 1-2 with 2 runs scored and 2 walks. Savas also tallied a hit and scored a run. Both players also each had a stolen base. Savas leads the team in that department with 11 on the year.

Game two of the double header turned out to be the most exciting game of the year so far, certainly the wildest finish, as the Titans scored 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, all with one out, to win the game 8-7. Down to their last at bat the Titans sent 10 hitters to the plate and used 3 hits, 3 walks, 3 errors and 1 hit batter to claim the dramatic victory. The big blow came off the bat of the sophomore Savas. With the bases loaded, he doubled down the left field line, driving in 2 runs. Zack Parnell and Kyle Young also recorded hits in the inning.

The final run of the game was no less dramatic. With two outs and runners on second and third, Freshman infielder Ty Drake smacked a hard ground ball to the Chokers' second baseman Craig Barnes. Barnes sprinted quickly to his left, but bobbled it initially, before firing to first. The throw was not in time, though, to get the speedy Drake, and catcher Ryan Scott sprinted home with the winning run.

Savas continued his hot hitting, notching a 3-5 day, with 1 run scored and 3 RBI, while Young also had a stellar day at the plate, going 3-5 with 2 RBI. TCC starter Daniel Cox gave the Titans 6 strong innings, surrendering 7 runs, but only 2 earned on 9 hits with 5 strikeouts. He did not factor in the decision, however. Freshman reliever David Roberts picked up the win with 3 solid innings of no-hit baseball, keeping the Chokers in check until the Titan bats could take over.

Auburn, WA - Tuesday's matchup pitted the second and third place teams in the NWAACC Western Division against each other. TCC held a two game advantage in the standings going into the afternoon, and with the split, managed to hold serve in the division.

In the opener Green River CC squeaked out 4-2 win over the Titans as closer Joel Nelson, with the tying run at the plate, got Parnell to pop up to first base to end the game. It was a pitching battle all day with Titans' ace Young matching Nelson until the sixth, when the Gators were able to break through for a couple of runs. Young absorbs the loss, despite going the distance and allowing 4 runs on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts. He also chipped in offensively going 1-3 with a homerun - a monster

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