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Titans Take Season Series from Green River

Titans Take Season Series from Green River imagePosted: 5/12/2010 1:15:00 PM

Auburn, WA - Despite dropping Sunday's game 4-0 to Green River, the Titans took the season series 3 games to 2 with their rival by virtue of their Saturday doubleheader sweep of the Gators, 4-3, and 5-4. The wins put TCC a game up on Green River in the standings, all alone in 2nd place and in line to host a playoff series.

Saturday began with a battle of two of the NWAACC's best pitchers, and a rematch from earlier in the year - Colton Brown for TCC and David Macey for Green River. Brown won the first matchup, and would win this one as well. Tacoma took an early 4-0 lead and would not look back. Brown went 5 innings, allowing just 4 hits and the three earned runs for his 7th win of the year. Sean Santschi slammed the door in the 9th with 3 strikeouts for his NWAACC-leading 9th save of the season. Matt Williams, a sophomore second baseman, was once again the sparkplug offensively with two hits and 2 runs scored.

Game two pitted two equally impressive arms in TCC's Jordan Staples and Green River's Jake Shadle. Staples matched his teammate Brown's performance with a 5-inning start of his own, also allowing just 3 earned runs. He would not factor in the decision, though, as it took a dramatic last-at-bat comeback by the Titans to claim the victory. Down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning, TCC rallied for 3 runs to clinch the season series. Braden Box led off the inning with a hit by pitch, and then promptly stole second. David Olson, who would earn the win on the mound as well, was also hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Beau Rogers laid down a perfect bunt for an infield single to load the bases for Riley Rosvold. Rosvold would ground into a fielder's choice, but managed to drive home Box in the process. He would then steal second and eventually advance to third on Ryne Briley's ground ball. Briley's ground ball would plate pinch runner Johnny Pagel and set up a first and third situation with one out. After fouling off a safety squeeze bunt attempt, sophomore first baseman Will Pierce delivered the walk-off single past the outstretched glove of Green River third baseman Zach Gagnon.

Sunday brought more great weather and yet another great pitching matchup. Unfortunately for the Titans, Green River's starter Cody Hebner was just a little sharper than Tacoma's Andrew Olson. Olson had been pitching as well as anyone on the TCC staff over the past several weeks, but a lack of run support and a few timely hits by Green River sealed his fate. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, walking four and striking out two. The Tacoma bats fell silent on this day, managing just 6 hits, and stranding 8 runners in a 4-0 loss.

The loss drops Tacoma to 13-8 in league, 20-13 overall. The Titan's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 1, while its magic number to clinch a playoff host is 2. The Titans host their final 4 regular season games at home beginning on Saturday when #1-ranked Lower Columbia comes to town. Sunday brings playoff -hopeful Centralia in for a doubleheader. Centralia trails Tacoma by three games and must sweep the Titans to have any chance of making the postseason. Start times are 1pm for both days.

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