By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Titan Baseball Club found themselves rolling over the Olympian Baseball Club, leading 6-1 over the Boys from the Berm entering the fifth inning.
Blake Arritola was a triple shy of the Cycle, hitting a solo shot and adding a single and a double as the University of Jamestown-commit drove in three of the Titans six early runs.
It seemed a tad weird in the eventual 9-8 win for the Titans, that through the first three innings where the West Salem squad did the bulk of their damage that the Olys Broderick Standaway each had struck out five batters each before handing off to their relievers in the fourth inning. But the fireworks were just about to begin as the Olympians BC’s Jacob Jones drove in a run in the fifth to make the game 6-2 in the fifth inning.
“It was a huge roller-coaster, leading 6-2 and having it slowly slip away and really having to pull some magic out in the seventh. It’s a rollercoaster but it’s a rush at the same time,” said Ben Nagle. “We’re out here to play baseball and this is the best moments to happen in baseball.”
The boys from Sprague have already pushed the envelope already this summer, against the Titans especially last Wednesday when McMullen had a four-pitch save to seal the 5-3 win that day for the Green Machine. Tuesday was the same story for the Olys Baseball Club as Jones RBI Single was followed by a Standaway RBI double in the sixth inning. The hit had also put Brett Hassoun onto third from first as both scored on a pass ball during the next at-bat that had brought the Olympians to one of their West Salem counterparts at 6-5.
Sprague were mentally in it those final three innings, something the need to do the first four innings as Brock McMullen tied the game up in the seventh, driving in Chris Rogers with one out on the board against Cameron Hagan. Hagan had came in for the save opportunity in the seventh inning, only to see the Olympian Baseball Club end the inning with the 8-6 lead going to the bottom of the seventh inning.
“Mentally, we just mentally prepared for that fifth, sixth and seventh inning. But we need to be prepared for the first through seventh inning,” said McMullen, who went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. “It was good, it was fun with the team all getting hyped and getting excited for the innings. Even though we didn’t come out on top, it was alright, we played good.”
Jackson Muth came in to close for the Olys in the bottom of the seventh, but the rollercoaster ride wasn’t over yet.
The Titans had saw Wilson Neitzel walked, Noah Juarez single and Arritola reach on error to load the bases with no outs. It was the Boys of the West to take their turn with the mental game, taking it one-pitch at a time.
“You come back here with your guys. You got to trust them and what they’re going to do, but you have to produce. You have to do your job too,” said Nagle. “Defensively, it was hard. Walking one or two guys and just one- or two-piece hits, it didn’t go your way. They played well but, we also had to come up here and be selective, be smart and do our job at the job. That’s what won us this game.”
Crosby Albee was walked to bring in a run, Juarez scored off an pass ball to tie the game at eight with Nagle coming up to the plate with one out on the board. Nagle sent the ball to the warning track to be caught for the second out of the inning.
The moonshot was just deep enough for the Titans To send the runner from third in to home for the game-winning run, polishing off another close battle between the two rivals.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald