Titans craft back to back wins over district rivals


Last week the T. C. Williams baseball team hosted the 7th ranked West Springfi eld Spartans at Simpson Field on Wednesday and came away with a 5-4 win. Two days later on Friday, May 2nd they traveled to South County and topped the 5th ranked Stallions by a 10-6 margin.

The Spartans and the Titans, who were led by their craft y left hander Sam Bair engaged in a tense pitchers duel. Bair held the Spartan hitters in check as the teams entered the sixth inning tied at 3. In the top half of the sixth inning, Bair retired the fi rst two Spartan hitters but then was touched up with a solo home run which gave the Spartans a 4-3 edge.

The Titans went down in order in the bottom of the sixth inning and aft er Bair held the Spartans scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Titans came to bat in the bottom of the seventh trailing by a run. With one out in the inning, sophomore right fi elder, Matt Kilby lined his second double of the game to right fi eld. Adam Forrer came in to run for Kilby. Th e next hitter, third baseman, Lee Tackett was hit by a pitch putting Titans at fi rst and second with one out. Mark Grosser came in to run for Tackett.

With Bair at the plate, the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Bair then grounded out to short, scoring Forrer with the tying run and sending Grosser to third. The Spartans then elected to issue an intentional base on balls to lead-off hitter, Pike Brynildsen, bringing second baseman Mike Baber to the plate with the winning run 90 feet away. Baber, on a 1-1 pitch, hit a ground ball to the left side and although he didnt hit it hard, he got enough of it to get the ball past the mound and forced the Spartans shortstop to charge and hurry his throw to fi rst. Although he made a valiant eff ort, the Spartan defender bobbled the ball momentarily as Baber churned down the first base line and beat the throw by a half-step as Grosser streaked home with the winning run.

With the victory, the Titans won for the second consecutive time in their fi nal at bat and ran their record on the season to 4-0 in one-run games.

The Titans had little time to savor their win as two days later, the Titans traveled to South County to take on the 5th ranked and defending two-time Patriot District champion, South County Stallions. The Stallions boast a potent lineup led by their University of Maryland bound designated hitter and cleanup man, Jesse Beal.

The Stallions struck fi rst by putting up two unearned runs in the second inning against Titans senior starter, Tim Mannel. Th e score remained 2-0 through the fi rst four innings of the game as the Titans were held to two hits by the Stallions junior righthander, Brennan Miller.

The Titans fi nally got to Miller in the fi ft h inning as they sent 12 men to the plate and exploded for 6 runs. With one out in the top of the fifth, Titans second baseman, Mike Baber singled for the second of his three base hits on the night. Mannel followed with a home run to knot the score at 2. Following Mannels home run the next six Titans reached base safely as fi rst baseman, Sam Alexander singled, sophomore Robert Mannel walked and left fi elder Louis Barnett, right fi elder Kilby and third baseman Tackett delivered consecutive singles. Designated hitter Bair drew a bases loaded walk to force in the Titans 5th run and Baber closed the scoring with his second hit of the inning, driving in Kilby with the Titans 6th run.

Mannel and the Titans held the Stallions in check in the bottom of the fifth inning. In their half of the sixth inning, the Titans tacked on 2 more runs when Barnett stroked a two out single and scored on a long home run by Kilby to stretch the Titans lead to 8-2.

The Titans increased their lead to 10-2 with two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. The Stallions staged a rally with one out in the bottom half of the inning by stringing together three consecutive singles to load the bases ahead of a grand slam home run delivered by third baseman, Seth Jordan to cut the Titans lead to 10-6. Following the home run, Mannel gave up one more meaningless single before retiring the Stallions to preserve the Titans 11th win of the season against 7 losses.