Titans pitted against the forces of men and nature -The Storm and storms strike LCC down

05/07/2009 10:37

Trey Caldwell

Issue date: 5/7/09 Section: Sports
 
Eugene native Chris Vitus unleashes a pitch for the Titans, who have six games to squeeze in before the playoffs begin. The Titans' prior four scheduled games have been called due to rain. Photo by JB BOTWINICK/The Torch
Eugene native Chris Vitus unleashes a pitch for the Titans, who have six games to squeeze in before the playoffs begin. The Titans' prior four scheduled games have been called due to rain. Photo by JB BOTWINICK/The Torch
Freshman Andrew Goodpastor stretches to make the play at first base. Goodpastor is fourth on the team in walks with 18 and fifth on the team in RBIs with 12. Photo by JB BOTWINICK/The Torch
Freshman Andrew Goodpastor stretches to make the play at first base. Goodpastor is fourth on the team in walks with 18 and fifth on the team in RBIs with 12. Photo by JB BOTWINICK/The Torch

The LCC Titans baseball team battled both the opposition and the elements last week, as rainy weather continues to postpone several games. The Titans were swept in a double-header against Chemeketa Community College on Thursday, April 30, losing 5-2 in the first game and 9-0 in the second game at home against the Storm.

Jody Potter took the loss in the first game, as the Storm scratched out five runs on just seven hits.

The Titans helped Chemeketa's cause in the field as well with three errors. "It was straight up ugly," pitching coach Jeff Lyle said. "We did not pitch as well as we are used to pitching. We did not hit. We threw the ball around. Add those three elements together and it is easy to see why we did not get the job done."

"Chemeketa has been down in the standings, but they are well-coached," infield coach Justin Filip added. "I think it really shows that in this league, anybody can beat anybody any given day."

LCC faced one of the NWAACC's best pitchers in the second game. At press time, Storm pitcher Zac Rosscup has a miniscule 1.36 ERA and 67 strikeouts.

The Titans started the game with some masterful pitching of its own, however, with starter Matt Bellando.

"In the first two innings, Bellando looked as good as any pitcher in the NWAAC," Lyle said. "He was reaching top velocity of 91 miles per hour."

The Storm's bats came alive in the third inning, pushing across six runs. "Starting in the third, Bellando started leaving the ball up," Lyle said. "Going against a kid like Rosscup, the last thing you want to do is give up runs."

LCC remains in second-place in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College conference with a conference record of 12-10, and an overall record of 22-18.

"The year has not gone as well as we would have liked it to, as far as won-loss records, but we still have time to get it together," Lyle said. "We think if we win six out of our last eight, we got a good chance to get in [playoffs]. It is still in our hands."

Rain has postponed the last three games for the Titans, but the team is handling it as business as usual. "If anything, it makes them realize how excited they are when they do get a chance to play," Lyle said. "Most of these kids are from Oregon, and are used to dealing with the elements."

The Titans are scheduled to face Mt. Hood Community College in a double-header at home on Thursday, May 7, weather permitting. The Saints are the top team in the South region, with an overall record of 27-4. MHCC has only lost twice in conference play all season.