By: CASEY McDONALD
Editor In Chief
It was a long weekend for the Titans once again as the team played a three-game series against NAIA competitor Robert Morris University. The first two games were held as a double-header in Chicago.
In game one on Saturday, it was a pretty quiet night for both teams as starting pitcher Tyler Reece took the mound for the Titans. The first three innings for Reece went pretty smoothly, even after only allowing two hits, walking a batter and hitting another.
With the Titans struggling to get a run on three hits, the Eagles took advantage in the bottom of the fourth after Reece allowed one run to score on a walk he gave up at the top of the inning.
That would be the least of Reece’s worries, as five more runs would score in the bottom of the fifth inning. Brendon Wills would come in after two outs and those five runs to close out the fifth, but the damage was already done. Wills would finish out the game, and also give up two more runs in the sixth. IU South Bend would not be shut out, however, after a triple by Matt Miller would put him in scoring position for Nick Kellams to hit a sacrifice RBI to score the Titans’ only run of the game.
8-1 was the score as the Titans took a breather before game two, as Reece took the loss. Brett Bashaw stepped on the rubber as this one was a quick scoring game for the Eagles. Through four innings, the Titans were already down 5-0 before Tanner Wesp hit a sacrifice fly ball out to right field to send Drew Mathies in for the first run. Miller also scored on an RBI single by Zack Lazenby.
In the top of the seventh, things started to look up as bases were loaded with no outs. Jake Wilburn was hit by a pitch that sent the first run in, followed by a sacrifice fly by Mathies to send Lazenby in for a 6-4 game.
The final Titan run would come from pinch hitter Max Walls who came in for Austin Thomas, as he sent Miller in on a RBI single. The Eagles, however, would do some damage in the bottom of the inning, inevitably winning the game 11-5. Bashaw took the loss as the bullpen used three other pitchers in their struggle to win.
On Sunday, both teams moved locations to Newton Park for a closing game on the IUSB home turf. Collin Gordon started the game off for the Titan rotation as they looked for the light at the end of the tunnel. The Eagles quickly scored three runs in the top of the second, two of which came from wild pitches from the lefty. Miller put the Titans on the board in the bottom of the third, followed by Kellams who would send Miller and Thomas in to tie the game.
The bottom of the sixth would bring another run, as a sacrifice fly by TJ DeHerrera would send Wesp in to make it 5-4 Eagles. The following inning, the Eagles would score another. But Wesp quickly answered back with a two-run RBI single to tie the game in the seventh. This game was anything but over.
Robert Morris scored once again in the top of the eighth off Wills, and after two runners advanced to second and third, Zane Gonzalez was brought in to shut the tough Eagles offense down. Thomas would tie the game back of at 7-7 with a RBI single while Miller gave the Titans their first lead of the series with another RBI single sending Wilburn in.
In the ninth inning, the Eagles battled back and tied the game for the fourth time. Robert Morris would have gained the lead if it was not for an outstanding play by Miller who caught the fly out in left field before throwing it to his cutoff man at third, Thomas, who did a quick turn to catcher DeHerrera for the final out at home to catch the runner.
With the game on the line, the Titans and Eagles would go the tenth and eleventh innings scoreless before RMU would score two off Paul Geha, who relieved Gonzalez in the final twelfth inning. The Titans fought back in the bottom of the inning, with Mathies scoring on a fielder’s choice, but it was one run shy as the Titans fell to the Eagles 10-9.
A four hour and 20 minute game, 12 innings, a combined 19 runs and nine pitchers for both teams as RMU sweeps the Titans, handing them their eighth straight loss.
Geha took the loss as the Titans drop to 6-22 on the season.