Freshman catcher Matt Dallas pops a fly ball during the first fame of a doubleheader against Southwest Oregon. Dallas, one of the Titans' top recruits this season, was a crucial piece of the team's late season offensive burst. (Trent Toyama // The Torch)

The streaky Titans slugged their way into the Northwest Athletic Conference playoffs with a dominant offensive showing in May. After winning five consecutive games and seven of their last 10, Lane hopes to carry their momentum into a postseason packed with talented competition.

The Titans’ hot-and-cold play this year can be blamed, in part, on just plain bad luck. The team faced one of the toughest schedules in the NWAC–including multiple series against fourth-ranked Linn-Benton and seventh-ranked Mt. Hood–and coped with lingering injuries in the pitching staff.

They were also at the mercy of Oregon’s manic spring weather; the Titans couldn’t play a home game until a month into the season because of rain, snow and icy conditions. But, as the sun returned, so did Lane’s good fortune–and their offense.

Right-hander Donovan Baldocchi slings a baseball at a Southwestern Oregon batter. The Titans crushed the Lakers in eight innings, winning on run-rule with a walkoff home run. (Trent Toyama // The Torch)

After splitting a home and away series against the Clark Penguins, the Titans traveled down the coast to Coos Bay, where they crushed last-place Southwestern Oregon in a doubleheader by a combined score of 16-2. The rotation struck out a total 17 batters, while the top of the batting order smacked doubles and triples off the outfield fence. The next day in Eugene, the Titans ended their season in style, hanging up another 22 runs in a doubleheader against the Lakers.

Outfielder Skyler Vail rounds third base after hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning. Vail, a sophomore from Apple Valley, CA, moved to Eugene to further pursue a baseball career at Lane. (Trent Toyama // The Torch)

After locking up the third seed in the NWAC South, the Titans have just under two weeks to prepare for the playoffs where they’ll likely face stiff competition. The NWAC Championships will be held in Longview, Washington from May 23-27.

May 3

Lane Titans vs. Clark Penguins

Game 1:

Lane – 8
Clark – 4

Matt Dallas: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER,  4 K

Jaxon Woodhouse: 2-4, 3 RBI

Jack Swisher: 2-4, 1 RBI

Game 2:

Lane – 1
Clark – 5

Mitchell Bell: 4 IP, 4 H 0 ER, 3 R, 5 BB

Takanori Shimizu: 1-3, RBI

Skyler Vail: 2-3, 2B

May 4

Game 1

Lane – 10
Clark – 14

Trestyn Dumilieu:L (0-1), 3 IP, 4 ER, 1 K

Jesse Carr: 2 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 2 K

Skyler Vail: 3-5, 3 RBI

Hayden Curtis: 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI

Game 2

Lane – 6
Clark – 4

Donovan Baldocchi: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 K

Joe Ball: W (1-0), 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K

Henry Lovekamp: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2B

Matt Dallas: 2-4, 2 RBI

Skyler Vail: 1-3, RBI

May 10

Game 1

Lane – 12

Matt Dallas: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6 K

Takanori Shimizu: 2-5, SB, 3B, 4 RBI

Jaxon Woodhouse: 2-4, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI

Game 2

Lane – 4

Charlie Patterson: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6 K

Matt Dallas: 2-3, 2B

Hayden Curtis: 1-3, RBI, 3B

May 11

Game 1

Lane – 16

Donovan Baldocchi: 3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 2 K

Matt Dallas: 4-4, HR, 4 RBI

Skyler Vail: 2-6, 2B, HR, SB, 3 RBI

Hayden Curtis: 3-5, 2 RBI

Game 2

Lane – 6

Riley Howard: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 4 K

Bullpen (Dumilieu, Howard, Mitzel): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 6 K

Jaxon Woodhouse: 1-3, 2 RBI

Matt Dallas: 2-3, 2B, RBI