The Lane Titan baseball team fell just short of the semifinals in the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament in Longview, Washington.
The Titans started the tournament being dropped by Yakima Valley 6-4, which put them in the losers’ bracket against Big Bend Community College.
The Titans advanced to the third-place game against Spokane after they downed the Vikings 5-2.
After jumping to a two-run lead in the first inning with a triple from Titan Bryce Mulcahy that scored Jackson Soto and Tielar Murray, Mulcahy scored two runs after hitting one out of the park to break open the game for Lane.
Mulcahy led Lane in the Big Bend game, batting 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Soto went 3-for-5 and Sakamoto went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Donovan Baldocchi led the Titans from the mound with nine strikeouts, allowing two walks, two runs and seven hits.
“We got in a couple of tight spots on defense and happened to make a couple double plays to get us out of some jams,” Mulcahy said. “One of the highest energy games our team has had all season.”
To get to the semifinals and a shot at third place, the Titans faced off against the Spokane Sasquatches, who had just taken a shellacking at the hands of Lower Columbia College, 10-3.
Mulcahy started the game for the Titans and pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and racking up six strikeouts against five walks. He was relieved by Aaron Hutchinson, who gave up two hits against two strikeouts.
The Titans struggled to score until the eighth inning when first baseman Jackson Soto slammed a solo home run to tie the game at one. However, an error by shortstop Lane Kashiwamura in the top of the ninth inning allowed Sasquatch right fielder Aaron Fritts to score, ultimately sealing the Titans’ fate. Spokane won 2-1 to advance to the semifinals against Yakima Valley.
Mulcahy praised his team’s tenacity despite their disappointing finish in the tournament.
“Today, it was win or go home,” Mulcahy said. “I don’t think any of the boys were ready to say goodbye, so we felt as if we had to leave it out on the field .”
The Titans ended their 2018 season with a record of 25-27, a slide from last year’s 28-21 finish.