Titans wake up to rip Flashes

Published 1:16 am Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday’s game against visiting Class 6A foe Ridgeland looked like a mismatch just watching warmups.

But for four innings, the Flashes put a big scare into the Titans, hanging five runs on the scoreboard in the first and five in the third to take a 10-3 lead after three.

But the Titans woke up, turning a 10-10 tie in the top of the sixth into a rout with two runs in the sixth and 13 in the final frame to emerge with a 25-10 victory over St. Aloysius at Bazinsky Field.

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While the final result stung a bit, first-year St. Aloysius coach Jacan Warren was nothing but positive. Considering that the Flashes were missing Judson Gatling (back) and Josh Eargle (knee soreness), they managed to put a couple of big numbers on the board with a team composed of lots of seventh-, eight- and ninth-graders.

“We competed well,” Warren said. “They showed up flat and we got right on them. A few mistakes late kind of hurt us. I’m very proud of the guys who don’t play every day and stepped up for us. Six and seven got away from us, but if we take away those big innings, we have a chance to win this one.”

After starter Matt Mims threw a scoreless first, the bats went to work against Ridgeland starter Parker Lohman. He walked the first three he faced and the Flashes responded. Neal Ricks hit a single to drive in a pair. Andrews Collins rapped a line drive to drive in another. Patrick Murphy and Derek Dolan primed the pump with RBI singles to give St. Al a 5-0 lead.

After the Titans scored three runs in the second to pull within two, the Flashes (2-13) continued to swing the sticks with a big rally in the bottom of the third. They added five more to take a 10-3 lead after three.

But after the Titans (13-6) battled to a 10-10 tie, they opened the flood gates in the final two frames to turn a tight contest into a rout. Harrison Ollinger blasted a two-run double and a two-run bomb to key a 15-run outburst in the final two frames.

Ricks finished with three hits for St. Al, while Collins and Murphy had two hits apiece. Ollinger led the Titans with a double, a home run and four RBIs.

Mims took the loss for St. Al.

Despite the lopsided result, Warren feels the Flashes will grow from the experience of playing a brutal schedule.

“We’ve played that sort of competition all year,” Warren said. “More pitching we get to see, more competition we get to see and that prepares us for district and for the playoffs.