The Lane Titans hosted a doubleheader showdown with the Clark Penguins on Friday, April 13. Before their April 13 matchup, the teams played one game at Kindsfather Field in Vancouver, Washington that ended in a 4-3 Penguin victory. The Titans conference record dropped to five wins and three losses, placing them in second behind the Linn-Benton Roadrunners.
Clark opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the first inning, but Lane kept it close after sophomore Jackson Soto hit a single to outfield which drove in Tielar Murray to put the score at 2-1.
The Titans blew the game wide open in the fourth inning when they scored four runs and extended their lead to 5-2. Four different Titans recorded hits, including Murray, who is second on the team with nine hits this season.
The Penguins struggled to answer the Titans’ scoring outburst, going scoreless through four innings. That was until Clark pitcher Chad Lopez stepped to the plate. With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Lopez hit the first home run of the game and his fourth of the season, tied for sixth most in the NWAC.
Lopez’s home run tied the score at 5-5, but Clark retook the lead shortly after when Cody White hit another dinger. Those two home runs took all the air out of the Titan dugout while all they could do was watch the scoreboard switch to 6-5, advantage Clark.
Their lead was short-lived, though. With the bases loaded, Murray hit a grand slam which produced four runs for the Titans. That brought the energy and enthusiasm back to the Lane dugout as Murray slowly trotted his way past the Clark dugout and gave the Titans a 10-6 lead. Murray went 3-for-3 from the plate and batted in six RBIs in the first game of the doubleheader.
Lopez seemed to have the Titans’ number on Friday afternoon as he turned his next plate appearance into another Clark home run and chipped the Titan lead to 10-7 with only one inning left. Rice also hit two home runs Friday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Titan lead.
The Titans held on and won their fourth conference game of the season by a final score of 10-8. Lane left-handed pitcher earned his third win on the season on the mound. Thomas Rudinsky and Jayden Hanna recorded three and two hits, respectively.
The second game of the doubleheader was a much more defensive game — a defensive game that had Lane shut out Clark with the help of Bryce Mulcahy, who started on the mound and struck out a season-high 11 Clark batters. The Titans only allowed a single hit while five different Titans made it to base.
The Titans won 3-0 to sweep Friday afternoon’s doubleheader. The teams were scheduled to play two more games but both games at Clark were canceled due to poor weather. The Titans will continue their conference schedule when they face off against SouthWest Oregon beginning on Wednesday, April 18, at Titan Field at 4 p.m.