Asserting their dominance at home is something that the McDowell Titans are doing in the early part of the baseball season.
The Titans continued their perfect record at home Tuesday night, beating the Burns Bulldogs 8-2 at Titan Field.
Playing on a cold, and, at times, snowy home field, McDowell (4-1 overall, 2-0 MAC 4A/3A) was once again led by its pitching staff. Senior left-hander Canaan Silver picked up his second win of the season with a dominant effort, allowing two unearned runs on two hits, striking out a dozen Bulldogs and walking a pair in six innings of work. Silver continues what has been an overpowering start to his senior campaign, recording 26 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.
He went just three over the minimum over four no-hit innings before allowing the first Burns hit of the night, a leadoff single to right-center by infielder Colby Ferguson. The other hit came to the first batter of the sixth inning, a double by Wade Walker, who advanced to third on a fielding error and eventually scored on a ground out later in the frame.
Those were the only blemishes on an otherwise strong performance by Silver, who now leads the Titans pitching staff in strikeouts.
Walker started on the mound for Burns and tossed a scoreless first and second inning. It was starting in the third off relief pitcher Zach Blanton when McDowell put things together.
The offense scored four times in the third off Blanton and then matched the effort by scoring four more in the fifth off reliever Max Lowe.
The Titans had five separate players in the lineup with at least one hit, and eight hits as a team.
Tyler Walker got it all started with a one-out walk in the third. Sydney Pike then doubled, putting a pair in scoring position. Silver ripped a single up the middle, driving in Walker and giving the Titans a 1-0 lead. After a couple more runners got on, Ryan Murdock was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, making it 2-0.
Kell Smith then reached on a fielding error, pushing across a third run in the frame and Dylan Poplin was hit by a pitch, making the score 4-0.
In the fifth, McDowell began with its first four batters reaching, three of them with singles, and Murdock was hit by a pitch for the second time.
Poplin made it 5-0 when he legged out an infield single between shortstop and third. Pike drove in an additional run on a fielder’s choice and Silver had another single up the middle, increasing the margin to 8-1.
Silver helped his own cause by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Pike went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Kell Smith (RBI) and Poplin (2RBIs) each went 1-for-2. Troy Sheperd was 1-for-4. Murdock also had an RBI.
Ben Ballew pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
McDowell continued a busy three-game schedule Wednesday afternoon at Patton. Results were not available at press time. The Titans return home on Friday host the WNC Trailblazers.