Lane’s hopes of capturing an NWAACC Southern Region title are on life support after dropping three of four games over the weekend.
The Titans entered the week in first place, but were swept in a May 2 home doubleheader versus Mount Hood Community College, and the next day lost 7-8 in a nail-biting opener versus the Chemeketa Community College Storm.
With a record of 13-10 in Southern Region play, the Titans now find themselves in second place behind the Clark Community College Penguins (17-7) and tied with the South- western Oregon Community College Lakers (13-10).
“I think we’ve been inconsistent,” Lane head coach Josh Blunt said. “I don’t know if it’s because we take for granted the moment that’s been given to us, or we just think we’re better than other teams. But there’s not a lot of difference between top and bottom in our conference.”
In the first game versus Mount Hood, Saints’ clean-up hitter Eddie Jones blasted a two-run, opposite-field home-run off of Lane starting pitcher Jared Priestly in the first inning. That was all the offense Mount Hood needed.
Lane evened the game by scoring a run in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Saints shut the door on a Titans’ comeback by answering with two more runs later in the game to secure a 4-2 win.
Lane sophomores Eric Long and Jarren Goddard each went 1-for-4 with an RBI for Lane, and Long picked up two stolen bases.
Jake Dahlberg pitched a complete game for the Saints and struck out three Titans to earn his fifth win of the sea-son.
In the second game, the Saints picked up two quick runs in the first inning on a bases-clearing triple by shortstop Cole Hamilton, and held the lead for the rest of the game.
The Titans tacked on a run of their own when sophomore designated hitter Konner Reddick drove Long home with a single to right field, but that was the only offense the Titans would produce.
In the bottom of the sixth, Lane saw its best opportunity to break even. The Titans loaded the bases with the heart of their batting order due to come up.
But Long and sophomore second baseman Blake Montague each failed to reach base, and the Titans ended the inning scoreless.
Reddick relieved Titans starting pitcher Eric Ruaro and struck out two batters to hold the Saints in check in the seventh.
Sophomore centerfielder Spencer Smith reached base on an error to lead off the inning, and Goddard followed with a single. Reddick bunted both runners over, and sophomore outfielder Darin Nelson followed by driving in Smith on a ground-out to shortstop.
With the tying run on third, shortstop Tucker Campbell hit a laser back to Saints pitcher Michael McCall, who easily flipped the ball over to first to end the game.
Freshman outfielder Forrest Garcia went 3-for-3 and tripled for the Titans, and Reddick was 2-for-3 with an RBI. The next day the Titans took on the Storm in Salem, but the result wasn’t any more positive. Six unearned runs and three errors by Lane cummulated into an 8-7 Game 1 loss.
Nelson went 3-for-5, scored twice and stole three bases for the Titans.
In the nightcap versus Chemeketa, the Titans ended their weekend on a positive note. They committed only one error and surrendered just two walks and picked up a 4-3 win to end a three-game losing streak.
Freshman Travis Boggs pitched 3.2 innings and struck out two batters to earn the win for Lane. Long and Reddick each had two hits and scored a run. Reddick now leads the Titans in hitting with a .342 average.