Titans prepare for playoffs

Noah Noteboom // The Torch
Titan freshman Trestyn DuMilieu pitches during the Titans 0-6 loss Saturday, May 12 at Titan Field. The Titans were shutout in their final regular season game by the Linn-Benton Roadrunners.

On Tuesday, May 8, the Lane Titans began their last regular-season series against red-hot Linn-Benton. Coming into Tuesday, the Roadrunners had won 28 games in a row. The Titans have solidified themselves in second place in the Southern Region behind Linn-Benton and ahead of Mt. Hood. With these last five games, Lane is trying to keep their overall win percentage above 500.

“We are just looking at it as another baseball game,” Lane pitcher Tielar Murray said. “We aren’t worried about who’s in the other dugout; all that matters is that we are out here playing baseball.”

The Titans held the Roadrunners scoreless through the first three innings until Linn-Benton broke out and scored six runs in the top of the fourth. Freshman Cade Kissel started on the mound for the Titans. Kissel struck out four batters in three innings before Tielar Murray came in to relieve the freshman.

Noah Noteboom // The Torch
Titan first baseman Jackson Soto swings and misses. Soto failed to record a hit, striking out twice in Lane’s 0-6 loss to the Roadrunners on May 12 at Titan Field.
Noah Noteboom // The Torch
Third baseman Logan Zozaya sprints to third base after a hit from Jayden Hanna. Zozaya recorded a single hit in three plate appearances for the Titans in their 0-6 shutout against the Linn-Benton Roadrunners on May 12.

In the top of the fourth inning, four of the six Roadrunner scores came from a Tate Crowden grand slam. Hits weren’t a problem for the Titans, it was converting on those hits. Of the eight Lane hits, the Titans were able to convert only once; a double by Lane first baseman Jackson Soto drove in the only two Titan runs all game. The Titans fell to the Roadrunners by a score of 9-2.

The Titans were unable to get a win in their last regular season series against Linn-Benton. Getting swept in all five games, Lane now shifts their focus to the Northwest Athletic Conference playoffs.

“We are just getting ready for the tournament,” Lane head coach Josh Blunt said after Saturday’s losses.

Second-place Lane is now scheduled to play a cross-region game to determine who will move on to the NWAC Championship tournament. This year, the tournament will be held at David Story Field in Longview, Washington May 24-28.