The Lane baseball team kept their playoff hopes alive with a much needed victory against the first-place Mount Hood Community College Saints. The Titans defeated the Saints 2-1 in 10 innings in game one and fell 7-3 in game two.
The first game was a battle of pitching and defense.
Titans freshman starting pitcher Keynan Middleton had one of his strongest outings of the season, striking out five over 6.2 innings and holding the high powered Saints offense to only one run.
Mount Hood freshman starter Zane Bambush was just as effective as Middleton, pitching 7.2 innings and striking out four, limiting Lane to just seven hits.
The Titans trailed 1-0 through seven innings, but finally broke through in the eighth. Sophomore Nic Coffman smashed a triple that drove home fellow sophomore Alex Cornwell, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie.
The Titans went quiet and failed to score in the ninth inning, and after Titan sophomore Zach Eyster shut down the Saints in the ninth, the game was sent to extra innings.
It didn’t take long for the Titans to score in the 10th inning. Sophomore Matt Taylor led off the inning with a single and then advanced to second on a Coffman walk.
With two outs, sophomore Cody Chagnon singled to drive in Taylor and give the Titans a one run lead.
Titan sophomore pitcher Colben Mcguire threw a perfect bottom half of the inning, sitting the Saints down in 1-2-3 fashion to help preserve the 2-1 victory.
In game two, the Saints showed why they are the top team in the league with one of the best offenses.
They scored two runs in the first two innings, including a two-run home run by sophomore Jake Thran in the first inning.
Lane fought back in the second inning, receiving a huge RBI triple from Taylor and scored twice more on Saints errors to make the score 4-3 after two innings
However, they were not able to keep pace with the Saints prolific offense, and the game ended 7-4 in favor of Mt. Hood.
Taylor finished the game 3-for-4 and freshman Matt Hansen was able to contribute in a big way for the Titans in his first start of the season, going 1-for-3 with an RBI double.
Splitting a series with one of the NWAACC’s top teams is an encouraging sign for the Titans, but it’s also bad news because it means they are now two games behind the Linn-Benton Community College Roadrunners.
The Titans are set to face the Roadrunners on May 14 in Albany with an NWAACC playoff berth at stake.
The 16-10 Titans would pull into a tie for second place in the NWAACC South Region if they were to sweep the 18-8 Roadrunners. That would also mean they would own the tiebreaker over the Roadrunners, because they have won more games in head-to-head matchups between the two teams this season, placing them in second place. The Roadrunners still have to play the Saints on the last day of the season.