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Titans All Alone in Second Place

Titans All Alone in Second Place  imagePosted: 4/26/2010 1:13:00 PM

Tacoma, WA - TCC finished off a series win over Centralia this Sunday, 4-1, to move into sole possession of second place in the Western Division. With a 9-5 record in league play, the Titans are a game and a half back of division-leader Lower Columbia, and one game up on Green River.

The weekend series kicked off on Saturday under rainy skies in Centralia. Game 1 was a matchup of two of the best arms in the NWAACC, with Colton Brown going for Tacoma, and Tyson Schmitt for Centralia. Schmitt, who is committed to play for the University of Washington next year, had an ERA of 0.64 heading into the game. The Titans got to him early though, scoring a run in the first off an RBI single from David Olson. Matt Williams had singled to lead off the game, then stole second before scampering home on Olson's line drive to right. The two pitchers would stage an epic battle for the next 5 innings, holding both teams scoreless. Tacoma finally broke through again against the Centralia bullpen, plating 3 runs in the 7th inning to take a 4-0 lead. Terik Gofinch came on in relief of Brown in a bases loaded jam and managed to slow the bleeding, but not entirely stop it. Three runs came home for Centralia in the inning, only one of which was earned. Closer Sean Santschi came on in the 8th to preserve a 4-3 lead but could not, as a seeing-eye double and a couple of wild pitches led to a sacrifice fly tying the game for the Blazers, then taking the lead for good on a single to right and a 5-4 victory.

Head Coach Donegal Fergus on the loss, "Our bullpen has been so good for us this year, but this was just one of those days. Centralia only managed one extra base hit, and it happened to be in the 8th inning. We slip up on a couple of balls and miss our spots on a few pitches and all of a sudden they grab the lead back from us. It was bound to happen once this season. I still have total faith in those guys and firmly believe we have the best bullpen in the NWAACC."

Game 2 was never in doubt, as freshman Andrew Olson shut out the Blazers for his first complete game as a college pitcher. The Titans scored runs in 5 of 7 innings on the game, en-route to an 8-0 pounding of the Blazers. 7 different Titans had hits, with Will Pierce leading the way with 3 runs scored.

Sunday brought warmer weather and blue skies, but initially a bad break for the Titans. Scheduled starting pitcher Jordan Staples was a late scratch due to a sore back, so freshman David Lidyard was forced into a last-minute start. It turned out to be his best performance in a Titan uniform. He went 7 shutout innings, struck out 7, and only allowed one hit to earn his first career win. "David was tremendous today. On short notice he came in and gave us a dominant performance in a big game. I could not be more proud of him," said Fergus.

TCC's bats were not loud on Sunday, but they did enough to win. David Olson and Ryne Briley each had 3 hits to lead the way to a 4-1 victory for Tacoma. The win gave the Titans sole possession of 2nd place in the West at 9-5 in league, 16-10 overall.

Tacoma hosts Grays Harbor on Saturday, May 1, doubleheader beginning at 1pm. The Titans then travel to Lower Columbia on Sunday for another doubleheader at 1pm.

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