By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It went from good to bad in a hurry for the Titan Baseball Club Saturday afternoon at Holland Youth Park in their 7-4 win.
For the first four innings of the contest, Titan-grad Cameron Hagan was riding high with an four-inning, nine-strikeout, no-hit outing to help pace the Titans as they build a 5-0 lead over the Central Baseball Club before handing off to Evan Faust in the fifth inning.
“I just felt good and trust the defense and allow the defense to back me up,” said Hagan of his outing.
Former Post 20 Dirtbag teammate Ruben Cedillo knew if they could battle and get Hagan’s pitch count up, keep the game in reach too, they can get after the Titans bullpen.
They did just that.
“It was good,” Cedillo said of the onset to come. “I told them before the game that if we saw a lot of pitches from Cam that he’s going to be out and we’re going to get some bullpen guy that’s nearly as good as him.
“I think it’s hard in summer ball to stay with it and for some reason we stayed with it. Everyone was still on the fence when we were down and we just kept rallying.”
Malachi McCormick broke up the Titans No-Hitter with two outs on the board in the fifth inning, scoring a run stemming from a walk prior to the at-bat to plate a run going into the sixth down 6-1.
Central, even though they surrendered runs, held tough throughout the game had held the Titans bats once more as they mounted a rally in the top of the sixth. Kyle Holt hit an RBI double and later scored on an error, cutting the deficit to 6-3. Cedillo moved Tyler Vinson to third, Ricky Taylor scored him as the score stood at 6-4 entering the bottom of the sixth inning.
RJ Martinez drove in an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning, but pressure was there entering the top half of the seventh with West nursing a 7-4 lead and Brody McMullen coming in to close.
“It was a little nerve-racking, but once you’re out there it’s not that bad. You know you got good fielders behind you,” said McMullen. “I got a good field behind me that can make plays and everything so I wasn’t too nervous.”
McMullen walked Colton Farr before picking up back-to-back strikeouts. He walked Ryan Fitts with the tying run coming to the plate, McMullen picked up the game-winning strikeout to end the threat as the Titans held on for the victory Saturday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald