The Titans came on strong Thursday against the visiting East Atlanta Blue. Chase Otten took the mound and showed the Blue a nice mix of off speed and control to set the tone for the game. Titans gave up three runs early, but a nicely turned 4-6-3 double play by Harris Beckley, Matthew Davis and Jake Bressler got the Titans defense started in the second inning. Katie Goldberg's single was followed by an RBI triple off the bat of Colson Logue. Bressler drove in Logue with a single and Grant Matzigkeit's hard hit single was followed by a deep RBI sacrifice fly by Wiley Hartley. Otten helped his cause with a single to left and Edward Shores brought him home with a double to the fence in left. Banks Platford followed with and RBI single of his own then stole second, third and home to put the Titans up 6-3. The fourth inning saw the Blue walk the bases loaded. Shores took advantage with a single to right center for 2 RBI. Beckley doubled to left center to cap off the Titans scoring run and help seal the 12-4 victory.
On Friday the Titans faced the Black Sox from Valdosta. Logue took the mound and the Titans played solid defense behind him only giving up one run in the first. Goldberg squared the match in the second inning with a single, but it was not enough as the Black Sox pitching took hold and they held off the Titans for a 4-1 win. The Titans exited pool play with a solid 1-1 record that earned them a spot in the gold division of bracket play.
Saturday morning started early as the Titans faced the visiting ONYAA Red Knights. The Titans fell behind 2-0 early but all changed in the bottom of the second with a steal of home by Logue and a rip single by Shores. Shores and Otten reached home on crafty base running to put the Titans up 3-2. The Red Knights would not give up though and drew even with a run in the top of the fourth in spite of stellar pitching by Goldberg and diving defensive plays by Otten. The Titans broke loose in the bottom of the forth. Bressler and Logue scored with aggressive base running. Jared Rayman hit a hard sacrifice to push Shores across the plate. Hartley’s nice RBI single to right field scored Otten. Then Junta Yasuda knocked a 2 RBI double to score Hartley and Davis. Goldberg singled in Beckley and the Titans ended by winning 11-3.
There was scant time to celebrate on Saturday as the Titans had an hour rest before facing the number one team in the state, the Game On Bulls. The Titans were led by Yasuda’s top-notch performance on the mound and Rayman’s catching behind the plate. Yasuda fed the Bulls a steady diet of curves, change ups and fast balls that kept them guessing at the plate. In spite of strike out after strike out, the Bulls scattered some hits and a put up a couple of runs early. The Titans defense cooled a potential Bulls rally with a dramatic diving grab by Davis to close out the fifth and enter the sixth down only 2-0. In the top of the sixth, the Titan’s batters proved disciplined and their walks enabled the Titans to take a 3-2 lead, forcing the Bulls to change pitching twice. The bottom of the sixth saw the Bulls pull ahead for good however and win 4-3.
The Titans had to dust themselves off quickly so they could face the fourth ranked team in the state, the Savannah Bulldogs. This was the Titans third game of the day and proved to be a battle. The Titans kept it close on the strength of Otten and Bressler's arms. Bressler helped the cause with an RBI liner in the fourth that narrowed the gap to 2-1 Bulldogs. The Titans entered the sixth down 4-1 setting the stage for a dramatic comeback again. Davis started with a line-drive triple to the corner and Yasuda brought him home with a single. Bressler added another and the score was 4-3. The Titans ultimately could not plate another run and ended their tournament run.
Titans players and fans held their heads high with a great performance against the toughest teams 12U baseball has to offer. Grit and determination were on full display as the Titans continued to show their never give up attitude. BTT!!!