A third-place finish at the NWAACC tournament, three players selected for the All-NWAACC team and 12 players selected to the regional All-Star team made for one of the most successful seasons in school history for the 2014 Titans.
That success is carrying the Lane players to the next level in their academic and baseball careers, as every Titans sophomore is transferring to a four-year university.
Chris Neifert, Peter Davis, Robert Strys and Blake Montague will all transfer to the University of Oregon to continue their education, while 11 other Titans will continue to play baseball across the country.
The Titans were underdogs in this year’s NWAACC Championship before the tournament even started.
They scraped their way into the playoffs on the last day of the season, and as a reward, faced the conference’s top team, the Edmonds Community College Tritons, in the first round.
The Tritons’ explosive offense overpowered Lane in a Day 1 blowout, meaning the Titans were just one loss away from elimination.
However, Lane’s sophomore-heavy squad bounced back to win its next three games. They made just one error and allowed three runs against three of the top offenses in the conference to earn a spot in the NWAACC Final Four where they once again faced the Tritons.
The Lane baseball team has faced plenty of high pressure situations this season. Last weekend, the Titans saw their toughest test thus far and didn’t blink. With the season on the line, Lane swept a three games series against the Southwestern OregonCommunity College Lakers and are now headed to the NWAACC Playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The Titans picked up a 9-6, nine-inning victory to begin the series on May 17 and, later in the day, bested the Lakers with a 7-1 seven-inning win. The next day, they finished a game that had been suspended due to darkness on April 26. The game was tied 2-2 when it was suspended, but the Titans exploded for four runs in extra innings to cap off a 6-2 win.
The Titans are deadlocked in a second-place tie with the Southwestern Oregon Community College Lakers in the NWAACC Southern Region. Their playoff ambitions hinge on a May 16 winner-take-all three-game series with the Lakers. The series could include a continuation of an April 25 game that was suspended in the top of the 13th inning due to darkness. The teams will play a doubleheader with the first game beginning at noon and, if each team wins a game, they will play the remainder of the suspended game as a tiebreaker.
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 nailbiting 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 Southwestern Oregon Community College Lakers (13-10).
For at least another week, Lane stands atop the most competitive region in the conference.
The Titans took two of three games from the Southwestern Oregon Community College Lakers over the weekend to increase their record to 12-6.
They hold a narrow half game lead over the Clark Community College Penguins (13-7) while the Lakers sit in second place at 12-7.
The Titans, Penguins and Lakers are the only teams in the region with winning records and will battle for the two available playoff spots over the last half of regional play.
Two years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Spencer Smith and Tucker Campbell playing college baseball at the same school.
Now, they’re not only on the same team, but they are two key pieces of a Lane squad that is on the verge of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Smith, a center fielder, and Campbell, the Titans’ starting shortstop, are two of the top bats in the Titans’ lineup. Smith is second on the team in batting average and leads in stolen bases, while Campbell is tied for second in RBIs and doubles.
Sometimes, home field advantage means absolutely nothing.
After a bizarre weekend in which they split a four-game series with the Clark Community College Penguins, the Titans managed to emerge in sole possession of first place in the NWAACC Southern Region.
Lane lost two home games on April 18, but bounced back the next day when they traveled two hours to Vancouver, Wash., and stole two games back from the Penguins.
“It was so weird to be beaten so badly Friday at our own place and then do the same to them over there the next day,” Lane head coach Josh Blunt said. “It was so vital to at least split Saturday to at least keep ourselves in contention.”
The Titans beat the Clackamas Community College Cougars in both games of their April 11 doubleheader in Eugene. Sophomore Jarren Goddard’s walkoff home run highlighted the closing game in the series.
The Titans were able to hold Clackamas to just one run over the two games.
The final score of the first game was 5-0 in the Titans’ favor.
Sophomore Pitcher Jared Priestley recorded his second win, throwing seven innings and striking out eight batters.
Freshman catcher Kyle Beam had a successful day at the plate, batting 3-for-3 driving in a run.