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Titans Split Series With Pierce To Open Conference Play

Titans Split Series With Pierce To Open Conference Play imagePosted: 4/3/2013 11:57:00 AM

Tacoma, WA- The Titans opened up conference play this past weekend versus the defending NWAACC champions, Pierce Raiders. With it being Easter Sunday, the series took place Friday at TCC's Minnitti Field and Saturday at Pierce's home field Mt Tahoma High School.

In game one, Mitch McQueen would get the start for the Titans and set the tone for the entire weekend. He threw seven scoreless frames, striking out three while only allowing six hits. Mitch would continue his string of four consecutive quality starts. CJ Hicks and Joe Greaney collected two hits apiece supplying most of the offense for the Titans, tacking on runs in the third and fourth innings. The Raiders scratched a run off of reliever Ryota Koiwai in the eighth inning, but their big damage came in the top half of the ninth. With two outs closer Brandon Choate loaded the bases and surrendered a bang-bang score tying infield single. Followed by another single the Raiders took the lead three to two. CJ Hicks laced a single up the middle with two outs in the ninth; however the Titans failed to make anything of it. The Titans would lose the game 3-2.

Game two featured top prospect Elliot Morris vs. Titans southpaw Joey Gamache. The game turned into a pitcher's duel right out of the gate. Gamache struck out the first four batters while retiring nine of the first ten batters he faced. Morris worked out of a jam early when leadoff hitter Seth Heck turned on a 90+ mph fastball down the left field line for a double; however, Morris induced three ground balls to end the inning. In the fifth inning Jake Ross and Connor Cloyd led off the inning with back to back singles. After a fielder's choice and a strike out Garret DeGallier stepped up to the plate and delivered a two strike double down the right field line to give the Titans a one run lead. That would be all that Gamache needed. Gamache threw a solid seven innings, giving up no runs and striking out eight, both season highs. With the game only being seven innings Gamache received the first complete game shutout for the Titan staff this year. The Titans evened up the series at 1-1.

Game three was played at Mt Tahoma High school, the home field for the Pierce Raiders. After a few pitcher duels in day one the Titan bats exploded vs. the Raider pitching staff. Collecting thirteen runs on eighteen hits the Titan offense would strike early and often. CJ Hicks and Joe Greaney got the Titans rolling in the second inning with a walk and a single to set up Jordan Woodring's single up the middle to drive in a run. Chad Michaud followed up the single with a safety squeeze with runners on first and third to bring home Greaney. The Titans scored in four of the seven innings played and every Titan that had an at bat came away with at least one hit in the game. All hitters were lead by Connor Cloyd and Chad Michaud each getting three hits in the game while also having multiple RBI's. Buck Hale continued the starting pitching scoreless streak to nineteen innings before surrendering runs in the sixth and seventh. Buck Hale would go the distance in a run rule limited game, giving the Titans back to back complete games from starters. The final score of the game was 13-2.

Game four saw a bounce back from the Pierce Raiders. After yielding thirteen runs to the Titans in game three, starting pitching Sam Shadle dialed in five straight scoreless innings to start the game. As for Pierce offensively they jumped on Titan starter Lukas Hinton early, scoring runs in both the first and second innings before Hinton could settle in. Bouncing back nevertheless Hinton went on to throw four consecutive scoreless frames and held the game at 2-0. The Titan offense would put two runs on the board thanks in part to Joe Greaney's leadoff double and some timely hitting from Jordan Woodring in the fifth to tie the game at 2-2. Heading into the bottom of the seventh relief pitcher Patrick Bernard would come on for starter Lukas Hinton. After giving up a leadoff hit and a sacrifice bunt, Bernard struck out the next two batters he faced. However with 2 outs, strike three was in the dirt and a miss fired throw from the catcher hit the runner in the back putting runners at the corners. The next batter hit a groundball to the shortstop that was bobbled, allowing the winning run to cross the plate and give Pierce the win in Game 4, 3-2.

"I thought our effort was great and we competed all weekend, but to know we could have won a series instead of split, is a little disappointing," stated Head Coach Ryan Mummert. "We were a save away or if we make a play in game 4, we win a series. As a competitor it's tough, but we just have to keep working and find ways to win those close games. Our guys will learn from this weekend and get better."

The Titans (13-5, 2-2) next match up is at home on Saturday, April 6th vs. Clark. The double header will start at 1:00 pm followed by the second game at 3:30 pm.

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