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Weekend Split for Titans, Still in Second Place

Weekend Split for Titans, Still in Second Place imagePosted: 5/5/2010 9:20:00 AM

Longview, WA - Sunday's doubleheader showdown did not go as planned for the TCC Titans, as they faced off against top-ranked Lower Columbia on the road, dropping the games 12-0 and 3-2. The weekend was salvaged in part, though by the two victories on Sat versus Grays Harbor, 4-3 and 7-5. The Titans remain in 2nd place, tied at 11-7 with Green River.

Saturday was a struggle all day, as the Titan offense never really got untracked. The pitching staff saved them with two bulldog performances, limiting the Chokers to just 2 earned runs on the afternoon. Jordan Staples got the win on the mound in the first game, while Sean Santschi locked down his NWAACC-leading 8th save of the season. Riley Rosvold and Riley Kitchen each had two hits to lead the Titan attack, with Rosvold also scoring twice.

David Olson picked up the game two win in relief, as the Titans rallied from down a run in the bottom of the 7th inning to score two runs, the walk-off single provided by Ryne Briley. Rosvold had two more hits in the game.

Sunday brought on the Lower Columbia Red Devils, ranked #1 in the NWAACC, and the team directly in front of the Titans. Sophomore ace Colton Brown got the starting nod for TCC, and was cruising along for the first three innings, not allowing a run or even a hit up to that point. The 4th inning, however, was Tacoma, and Brown's, undoing. The Devils scored 12 runs in the frame, only 4 of which were earned. 4 Titan errors, a couple of passed balls, some walks, and a few timely hits for LCC, and the Titans were knocked out. They would lose by the final of 12-0.

"That was one of those innings where everything that could go wrong did. We played horrific defense, walked some guys, threw the ball all over the place, and LC came up with big hits when they had the chance. We're a bit like the Seattle Mariners, our margin for error is very small. We pitch it really well but don't always score a lot of runs so we have to be really good on defense. We were not that inning and it cost us in a big way," according to Head Coach Donegal Fergus.

Game two on Sunday was a classic pitcher's duel and one of the more exciting games TCC has played all year. Both teams, starting pitchers pitched beautifully, with Titan starter Andrew Olson allowing only two runs, one of which came off his own throwing error. With two outs in the top of the 7th inning, and the Titans down 2-1, pinch-hitter Allan Butler ripped a 2-strike pitch down the first base line to drive home pinch-runner Johnny Pagel and tie the game. Reliever Terik Gofinch kept the Devils off the scoreboard in the bottom of the 7th, but in the bottom of the 8th, after a leadoff hit batter and a sacrifice bunt, Gofinch left a fastball up in the zone and LCC shortstop Ben Graham knocked the first pitch into center field to drive home the winning run just ahead of Rosvold's nearly perfect throw to the plate.

The loss sends Tacoma into a second place tie with Green River at 11-7 in conference play. The two teams will face off in a three game series this coming weekend. Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 1pm at TCC's Minnitti Field.

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