Some days you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. The T.C. Williams baseball team got a taste of each last week. On Wed., May 14, the Titans took on the West Potomac Wolverines in the quarterfinals of the Patriot District Tournament and came away with a 12-2 win in a game that was halted in the fifth inning by the ten run mercy rule. On Saturday, the Titans traveled to West Springfield High School to take on the Lake Braddock Bruins in the semifinals and were defeated 13-3 in a game that was also halted by the mercy rule in the fifth inning.
On Monday, the Bruins went on to best West Springfield 12-8 and win the Patriot District Championship.
Against West Potomac the Titans broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the second inning. First baseman Sam Alexander led off the frame with a solo home run. With one out, second baseman Adam Forrer singled and stole second base. Louis Barnett hit a one-hopper back to the mound. The West Potomac pitcher threw wild in an attempt to catch Forrer advancing to third, allowing him to trot home with the Titans second run.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Titans sent 10 men to the plate and plated six runs to take an 8-0 lead. Centerfielder Pike Brynildsen singled and second baseman Mike Baber reached on a fielders choice ahead of a three-run home run by senior Tim Mannel. The Titan rally continued as catcher Robert Mannel walked and scored on a triple by Forrer. Senior third baseman Lee Tackett singled home Forrer, sending Barnett to third. The Titans plated their final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Sam Bair, scoring Barnett.
After the Wolverines rallied for two runs on only one base hit in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Titans lead to 8-2, the Titans responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. The big blows for the Titans were a two-run double by Robert Mannel and an RBI single by Forrer. Starter Tim Mannel sent the Wolverines down in order in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal the win for the Titans and send them to the Patriot District semifinals.
Against Lake Braddock, the Titans scored first in the contest with back to back two-out walks to Bair and Brynildsen, followed by a line drive RBI single by Baber in the top half of the third inning.
The Bruins answered with four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. However, the Titans gamely battled back in the top of the fourth inning, scoring twice without the aid of a base hit. Alexander led off the inning with a base-on ball. After Robert Mannel was hit by a pitch, Barnett sacrificed the runners to second and third. Forrer then reached on an error scoring Alexander, and designated hitter Trav Clark had an RBI ground out to short, scoring Will Rossi, who had come in to run for Mannel, cutting the Bruins lead to 4-3.
From there on out, it was all Bruins, as they scored nine unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings on only three base hits to clinch the 13-3 win.
By virtue of their quarterfinal win, the Titans advanced to the 16-team Northern Region Championships. The Titans will play the first game of the tournament at Stone Bridge on Friday night.