A busy first week of the 2018 baseball season continues for the McDowell Titans, and in Thursday’s non-conference tilt, some timely hitting combined with a solid pitching effort gave the Titans their first of the season, holding off the Owen Warhorses 6-5.
McDowell, for the second consecutive evening, played its home contest at Big League Camp due to significant rainfall that had saturated Titan Field earlier in the week. The second go-around turned out better as the team evened up its record on the young season after losing by an 8-6 score to Patton on Wednesday.
Thursdays battle started out in Owen’s favor as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead collecting four hits off Titan starting pitcher Josh Maddux (5 IP, 5R, 3ER, 7H, 3K, 4BB) in the first half inning.
Garrett Cole delivered a one-out single up the middle driving in a pair. Jackson Shaw added an RBI on a slow grounder to third for the third run in the frame.
The Warhorses had a chance for additional runs in the second but they stranded a bases-loaded, one-out situation. After finishing that frame, McDowell got to work at the plate, putting together four runs in the home half of the second.
Brycen Seamore started with an infield hit. Then, after advancing to second on a steal, Seamore crossed home when D.J. Creson took a two-strike pitch and singled into right field.
After Maddux reached on a fielding error, Nate Watkins made it 3-2 with a sacrifice fly to left. Then, with two outs, Dylan Poplin singled to right, tying the game 3-3. Ryan Murdock followed with a two-out RBI triple giving the Titans their first lead of the night at 4-3.
The scored evened back up at 5-5 through five-and-a-half innings, leading up to McDowell pushing across the winning run in the bottom of the sixth.
Watkins reached by a walk with one out and Poplin singled into shallow left. Then, with runners on the corners and the infield at normal depth, Murdock executed a squeeze play to the right side of the diamond, bringing in Watkins.
After getting through five innings with Maddux on the mound, Seamore came in and struck out five of the last eight Owen batters faced in the sixth and seventh innings for the win.
McDowell finished with seven hits, three of them coming off the bat of Poplin (3-for-4, 2RBIs) with Murdock, Seamore, Creson and Maddux adding a hit apiece.
Burns 10, McDowell 4 (Friday) - A disastrous sixth inning that saw Burns score seven times led to a 10-4 Bulldogs win in the Titans' first road game of the year Friday.
Six of those runs came with two outs and were unearned, thanks to a couple of errors. McDowell (1-2) committed six miscues in the game.
The Titans trailed 3-2 headed into the pivotal sixth before the game slipped away.
Reliever Nate Watkins allowed five runs, only one of them earned, on three hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. Juan Campos turned in a quality start, giving up three runs, only one earned, on five hits in five innings. He struck out seven and walked two while absorbing the loss.
Dylan Poplin (RBI, SB, SAC) went 2-for-3. Ryan Murdock was 2-for-4. Sydney Pike (RBI) was 1-for-3.
The Titans open Northwestern 3A/4A Conference play Tuesday at West Caldwell (4, 6:30).