Titans finish with best record in the National for Summer
LC Titans 10 KW Knights
BACK ON TRACK
The Titans needed a win in their final
game to go into the playoffs on the right foot. The Titan bats provided plenty
of runs and pitching was in supply. the Boys in Blue were in a battle for 4
innings as the Knights kept the Titans in check in a 1 run apiece game. Chris
Vela was dealing for the Titans (2-hitter in 6 innings) and had the Knights off
balance most of the night only making 1 mistake which was a homerun offering in
the 6th. Other than that, Vela was in control striking out 5 batters in 6
innings of work and inducing 2 double play grounders. JT came in to pitch the
last two innings keeping the Knights scoreless and striking out 3.
A-Dunn had a great night going 2-for-2
with 4 runs scored. Dunn scored the Titan’s first run which came in the first.
The Boys in Blue scored 4 to take the lead in the 5th as Dunn and
Laverell had walks and Vela, JoJo, and McCormick had singles. In the
6th, the Titans scored 2 more as Dunn and Laverell touched the plate
after a HR shot (looked like a Tiger Woods drive on a par 5) by Laverell (about
time) who finally showed patience at the plate drawing 2 walks in the game. The
Titans also posted 3 in the 7th off 6 walks and 1
The Titan offense scored 10 runs on 9
Dunn, 2-for-2, Stolen Base, 4 Runs, 2 BB,
Laverell, 2-for-3, HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBIs, 2
Vela, 2-for-4, 1 Run, 2 RBIs, 1
JoJo, 2-for-5, 2 RBIs, 1 Run
McCormick, 1-for-4, 1 RBI
Atwell and Zepeda, 1
Offensive co-MVPs – Ryan Laverell and
Titan Defense showed up as it turned two double plays with the Laverell/Atwell
combo. “Z” made some nice plays at the 3 bag. McCormick with a nice outing
behind the plate intimidating the Knight runners into not attempting a stolen
base. Vela pitched a 2-hitter through 6 innings of work. Vela had a nice night
dealing a bunch of “nasty” to the Knight batters.
Vela (6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 5 Ks, 6
J.T. (2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 Ks, 0
Defensive MVP – Chris Vela/Mike
Overall, the Boys in Blue finished the
regular season 8-2 as division leaders. The Titans are 19-5 in 2001. Thanks
again goes to the fans showing up for the game (James, Jeanne, Becky, Sarah, and
DeSoto) and to Becky for keeping the books again.
Titans 4 Hurricanes 10
Put your raincoats on because the Titans
lost for the second time in a row, but this time in convincing fashion. Though
the Canes were lucky that the Titan squad that put together an 8 game winning
streak (won 16 of 17 prior to losing to the Rockies) were not on the field, they
still had to win, so they did. In what was never really a game, the Boys in Blue
were toasted 10-4. JT coming off a brilliant game was not helped by a poor Titan
defense and gave up 9 runs. Vela came in to pitch for 3 innings and only gave up
a run, but by that time it was too late. Key highlights was a HR by Vela to the
deepest part of the park and JoJo Jones going 2-for-3 with a triple. JoJo also
doubled off a runner off the bag to far after a fly ball. Other than that, the
Boys in Blue were just that, BLUE. Let’s hope the Titans rebound for the last
game of the season to go into the playoffs on the right foot.
The Titan offense scored 4 runs on 7
Dunn, 1-for-4, 2 Stolen Bases, 1
Vela, 1-for-3, HR, 1 Run, 1 RBI,
JoJo, 2-for-3, Triple, Stolen
Offensive co-MVPs – JoJo Jones and
J.T. (4 IP, 9 R, 4 ER, 9 H, 0 Ks, 0
Vela (3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 Ks, 1
Defensive MVP – Chris Vela and JoJo
JoJo gets the
Overall, the Boys in Blue are 7-2 and
still division leaders. Thanks again goes to the fans showing up for the game
and to Becky for keeping the books.
Titans 1 Rockies 2
GOTTA HAPPEN SOMETIMES
Well, it couldn’t last forever and the
Titans lost their first in the Summer session to a solid Rockies team. Wasting a
great outing by Jason (JT) Thompson, the Boys in Blue lost 2-1. After some early
errors, some base running mistakes, and some “by the way your missing a good
game ump” calls, the Titans lost a close one. A strange strike zone had both
teams flustered, but the call in the 8th inning to not allow the
tying run on board was the killer. Though the Titan runner was two steps past
the bag, the ump (obviously missing Matlock reruns) called the runner out, then
took it upon himself to make 10 minutes disappear and call the game early not
allowing the Boys in Blue a chance for 9th inning heroics. Oh well,
things happen and not having their E-Mo hurt.
The game started with two costly errors
in the 1st by Dunn and Vela to give the Rockies their only two runs.
The Titans threatened to strike back as A-Dunn singled and stole second with no
outs, but proceeded to get picked off. In the same inning, Jason Atwell was
robbed of a 2-run HR as the left fielder snagged one over the fence (a
foreshadow of what was to come). JT settled in and put out many fires only
allowing 1 more hit after the 1st going 6 innings. The Titans scored their only
run as Chris Vela hit a single to drive in A-Dunn home in the 3rd
inning. The 3rd could have been the inning to put the Rockies away as
JT led off with a double and JoJo pinch ran for him. “A-Train” McCormick then
laid down a bunt to get on first, but then JoJo was thrown out at home on a
double steal. McCormick was then caught off guard at second and was tagged out
in a fielder’s choice. Many base runners, not so many runs. The Titans never
really threatened to score after that, except when Carlos Zepeda hit a double
with only 1 out, but JoJo and JT could not get him in. Mike Laniak pitched a
nice 7th and 8th to give the Titans a chance to comeback,
but the Rockies prevailed. Credit goes to the Rockies for a solid pitching
performance and nice grabs on short hops. Their first baseman also had some nice
scoops and the left fielder robbed Atwell of a homerun and of a double with a
diving catch (he might have single-handedly won the game).
The Titan offense stalled with 1 run on 6
Dunn, 1-for-4, 1 Run, 2 Stolen
Vela, 1-for-3, 1 RBIs
Zepeda, 2-for-3, Double
J.T., 1-for-3, Double
Offensive MVP – Carlos “Z” Zepeda
(Atwell, if it weren’t for the left
J.T. (6 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 Ks, 2
Laniak (2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 Ks, 1
Defensive MVP – Jason “JT”
Vela gets the
LEAGUE CITY SWEEP!
The League City Astros had a second
chance to beat the undefeated Titans as the home team, but the Boys in Blue won
again by a count of 9 to 4, sweeping the Astros for the 2nd straight
season. The Titans are 4-0 versus the Astros in 2001. This game was not as close
as the first one as the Boys in Blue never looked back after Eric “E-Mo”
Morales’ 2-run HR in the 1st inning. The hometown Titans improved
their record to 6-0 for the summer season and an overall 17-3 for 2001.
Jason “Leyland” Atwell got a rare start
for the Titans and did a superb job not allowing a run in 3 frames. Andrew “Wild
Thing” Dunn got an inning of work (and I mean work) as he walked 3 batters, but
left them stranded. Now this is the interesting part, as pitchers the
combo of Atwell/Dunn did not allow a run, but as fielders, they gave the Astros
their first two runs in the 5th as a double play to shutout the
Astros was foiled with the ball going to the fence. When questioned, neither
Atwell nor Dunn would accept blame (though it was recorded as an error by the
2nd baseman). Never one for being shy, JT yelled through the dead
silence, “I would have had it!” J“Crazy legs”T later went in as 1st
baseman. The Astros would score 2 more that inning as Chris Vela, known for his
superb control, hit 2 batters in a row right where he aimed (yeah right)
and walked a guy for fun. At that point the Boys in Blue already had 9 runs and
cruised to victory.
On the offensive side, the
3rd inning saw Dunn scoring on a hit up the middle
(what, he didn’t pull it (moons must be aligned)) and Vela scored on a sac-fly
by Ryan “Chipper” Laverell. In the 5th, the Titans
posted 5 runs, 2 runs coming off a “Leyland” double and 2 more off a “Chipper”
HR (his 2nd in as many games……again, about time). Mike
“A-train” McCormick scored the 5th run of the inning
off a “gracious scorekeeper” double by JoJo “Chunk-A-helmet”
The Boys in Blue managed 9 runs off of 8
hits and 2 bases on balls.
Dunn, 2-for-4, 3 Runs, 3 Stolen bases
Morales, 1-for-3, HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBIs, 1
Vela, 2-for-4, Double, 1 Run, 1 RBI, 1
Atwell, 1-for-3, Double, 2 RBIs, 1
Laverell, 1-for-2, HR, 1 Run, 3 RBIs, 1
M. McCormick, 1 BB, 1 Run
Jones, 1-for-2, Double, 1 RBI, 1 Stolen
base, 1 BB
Offensive co-MVPs -
Dunn/Morales/Vela/Atwell/Laverell - Top 5 Batters in line-up (7-for-16, 2 HR,
2 Dbl, 8 Runs, 8 RBIs, 4 Stolen bases)
Looks like rare starter Jason “Leyland” Atwell gets the nod for his
pitching, not his fielding for defensive MVP. “Leyland controlled the game for 3
innings, only allowing 1 Astro on base.
Atwell (3 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 Ks, 0
Dunn (1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 Ks, 3
Laverell (1/3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 K, 2
Vela (1-2/3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 2
BB, 2 Hit batters)
Defensive MVP - Jason Atwell (the
pitcher, not 2nd baseman)
Thanks again for all the fan support
(JoJo’s gal, McCormick’s sister and friend)!
Overall, the Boys in Blue are 6-0 and
still division leaders. The Titans face the current undefeated Rockies in a
battle of the undefeated and “Clash of the Titans” (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
on Sunday in League City at 7:00 pm.
Murphy, that is two beers now!
Don’t let the title fool you, there was
plenty of hitting also for the Boys in Blue. The Titans matched their season
high run total with 12 in 5 and 2/3 innings (more on the missing 1/3 inning
later). It what looked like a long day for the Titans and starter Mike
Laniak, the Cards took a 1 run lead in the 1st half of the
1st inning by scoring on 4 K’s, 1 walk, and 1 hit. You heard
right, 4 K’s! The Cards 1st batter whiffed at a third strike, but
the ball got past the catcher and he was on and off to the races. A wild pitch,
a few past balls, and 1 run was scored. That was it for the Cards. Laniak (the
Maniac) went 4 innnings allowing 3 hits and striking out 6 batters (serious
dealing and some good heat). In the 4 innings, the Titans belted out 7 runs with
the highlight being a 2-run HR by Ryan Laverell (Chipper Jones). Andrew Dunn
scored 3 times and Chris Vela twice by the end of the 4th inning.
Chris “SuperMex” Vela finished the last 2 innings off with a nasty change-up and
good location on his fastball. Vela struck out 5 of the 6 batters he faced and
retire all 6 in a row. But the Titans bast were not through as 5 more runs were
scored in an inning and 2/3 (again more on the 1/3 of an inning later). 8 of 9
batters scored runs in this game, Everyone but Eric Morales (more later on
E-Mo). The 5th and 6th inning featured a triple by Dunn
and a HR by Jason “Leyland” Atwell. In addition, the Titans had a season high 6
stolen bases (in defense of the Cards catcher, he did have a pulled
OK, OK, about that 1/3 of an inning. It
seems that E-Mo (Morales) had an unofficial 18 game hitting streak (23 game
streak counting the Memorial Day Tourney) and was about to bat when time expired
due to Dunn’s lengthy at bat (some say Andrew did this on purpose, others don’t
care). Dunn, after a record setting 32 minute at bat (JT’s 112 foul balls with 4
foul HR’s finally resulting in a HR at bat was the previous record), finally
drew a walk and with E-Mo coming to the plate the umpire called the game due to
time expiring (a conspiracy, perhaps, you see Dunn has a little hitting streak
of his own working). However, E-Mo did manage 3 RBIs without a hit using Vela’s
magic RBI system.
The Boys in Blue managed 12 runs off of 9
hits and 6 bases on balls.
Dunn, 2-for-3, Triple, 4 Runs, 3 RBI, 2
Vela, 3-for-4, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 3 Stolen
Atwell, 2-for-4, HR, 1 Run, 1
Laverell, 2-for-4, HR, 1 Run, 2
M. McCormick, 2 Runs, Stolen
Shawn Sager/Joey Jones(1 RBI), 1 Run,
Zepeda, 1 RBI, 1 Run
Offensive co-MVPs - Andrew Dunn*/Chris
Vela/Jason Atwell/Ryan Laverell (*would have been just Dunn if he didn’t abuse
E-Mo like he did)
Mike “Maniac” Laniak (4 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3
H, 6 Ks, 3 BB)
Chris Vela (2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 5 Ks, 0
Defensive co-MVPs - Mike Laniak
(1st win as Titan)/Chris Vela (finally getting some
Titans 2001 Record 15-3
R H E
LC Titans 5 6 4
LC Astros 4 4 1
GOOD, BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
The Battle for Bragging rights in League City
went again to the Boys in Blue as the Titans beat
the Astros by a count of 5 to 4. This is the third
time the Titans have beat the Astros in 2001. The
League City Astros did some work between seasons
and picked up some better talent, but in the end
it was the same result. The hometown Titans
improved their record to 4-0 for the summer season
and an overall 15-3 for 2001. This did not prove
to be an easy game for the Titans as both teams
play to the other?s level. In the end it was the
Titan?s deep pitching that put them over the edge
along with some timely hitting too.
The game took a bit to get started, with the
only hit in the game through 3 innings being a
hard hit double by Frank Simonton. The Titans
struck first though, taking a 1-0 lead in the 4th
inning. The run came in normal fashion as Dunn hit
a single, stole second base, and Morales singled
him in. The Astros immediately responded in the
5th by scoring 3 runs off starting pitcher J.T.,
who until that point had not given up a hit. The
runs came by means of a 2-run homerun and then JT
hurt himself by making a throwing error that led
to the third run. The Titans waited until the 6th
inning to score a pair of runs. JoJo Jones led off
with a single down the line and a stolen base.
Mike McCormick followed with a base on ball and
Goose Gossett laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt
with two strikes. This is where the Astros made a
big mistake. In a moment of coaching ?genius?, the
Astros intentionally walked Andrew Dunn to load
the bases for Eric ?E-Mo? Morales, who is only
batting 7-for11 this season and won the MVP Trophy
in the recent Memorial Day MABL tournament in
Kingsville. E-Mo responded with a single to drive
in a run. Chris Vela then continued his season
slump striking out with the bases loaded (which
makes people wonder if the old man can still
hang). However, Jason Atwell picked up the slack
by drawing a walk to force in the tying run and
J.T. flew out to end the inning. The Titans added
another pair of runs in the 7th off a squeeze bunt
by McCormick to score Shawn Sager and a single by
Dunn to drive in Joey Jones. Vela, having replaced
J.T. in the 6th, held the Astros to one hit in
three innings to get the victory (despite Atwell?s
and Sager?s best efforts to let the Astros score).
Together the combination of J.T. and Vela held the
Astros to 4 hits in 8 innings. The Astros did
manage one more unearned run in the 8th, but were
never a real threat to tie the game as the Titans
won their 5th straight dating back to the Spring
The Boys in Blue managed 5 runs off of 6 hits
and 5 bases on balls.
Dunn, 2-for-3, 1 Runs, 1 Stolen Bases, 1 RBI
Morales, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs
Simonton, 1-for-2, Dbl
Jones, 1-for-3, 2 Stolen Bases, 2 Runs (one
more hit and possibly MVP)
McCormick/Atwell, 1 RBI each
Offensive co-MVPs ? Andrew Dunn/?E-Mo? Morales
Like a broken record, it was pitching again on
the defensive side. JT looked sharp again, only
giving up a walk in 4 innings. He was touched in
the 5th for 3 runs as he got a litle tired. Vela
closed the door on the Astros getting the win in
three innings of work.
J.T. (5 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 5 Ks, 1 BB)
Vela (3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 1 Pick
Defensive MVPs ? Chris Vela (seems he is doing
so well keeping people from getting hits, he can?t
get one himself)
Thanks for all the fan support (JoJo?s parents,
Dunn?s #1 fan)
Overall, the Boys in Blue are 4-0 and still
division leaders. The Titans new Southbelt
Cardinals on Sunday at 4:00 pm. Sorry Murphy,
Vela?s waiting for his beer!
Titans 2001 Record 12-3
LC Titans 12 14 1
Tigers 3 5 1
In a game that featured an 0-for-4 performance by
Chris Vela while Jason Thompson ?hit the ball hard
foul 4 times? as Andrew Dunn wisely put it, the
Titans tamed the undermanned Tigers by a count of
12-3. The game had the Titans slugging 14 hits and
2 bombs with JT getting his first win back with
the Titans (the team had pity and let him back).
The game also featured several Titans hitters
picking on a girl, maybe that is where Vela should
have hit the ball. A 7 inning shortened game due
to time mostly because JT hit ?43? foul balls and
again ?4 were hit real hard?.
Offensively, the Titans hit the Tigers real hard.
Quinones actually killed an owl with his oppo-
bomb. (JT-HR 1, Quinones-HR 1). After the Tigers
scored 3 in the first, it didn?t look good.
However, the hometown heroes batted 9 and scored 4
to take the lead and never look back. Dunn did his
job (finally) and went a cool 3-for-4 with a
double and triple over former Titan Greg Hancock
(serves him right). Dunn also had 2 stolen bases.
Eric Morales went 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and a stolen
base while Marcos Quinones went 2-for 3 with a
double, HR, and 3 RBIs. Jason Thompson (JT) hit a
HR after fouling many off and a rare good at bat.
Ryan, Jason Atwell, Carlos Zepeda, Frank Simonton,
and Shawn Sager each had a hit also.
Offensive MVP ? Andrew Dunn (3-for-4, Dbl,
Trpl, 1 RBI, 2 Runs, 2 SB)
On the defensive side of the game, the turned 1
double play and barely missed turning another.
Only 1 error was committed (although one can argue
Dunn not backing up JoJo was another). Throughout
the game, JoJo (Joey Jones for you new comers) ran
down some tough fly balls in the outfield.
Although the defense was switched around a lot,
everyone adapted well and made the plays and got
the job done. With so much talent, rotation is
pivotal and team players crucial. However, the
Titans are based on team play. Jason started the
game for the Titans and recorded his first win (3
IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP). He started
shaky, but rebounded to throw well off a rough
mound (PLEASE put clay on that thing!) Vela came
in next and kept the Tigers to 1 hit through 3
innings of work (3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 K, 3 BB).
Simonton and Ryan closed the last inning not
giving up a hit. Not spectacular on the defensive
side, just good fundamental ?D?.
Defensive MVP ? Chris Vela (3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3
Overall, the hometown Titans are off to a good 1-0
start and face a tough opponent Sunday in the
Mudcats. The game is at 4:00pm in League City on
July 8th. Thanks to the fans that cheered us on.
Titans 2001 Record 13-3
LC Titans 7
Houston Mudcats 6
The Titans outlasted the Mudcats 7-6 Sunday afternoon thanks to outstanding performances by Josh McCormick and Eric Morales. Josh pitched 7 innings and did not allow an earned run while Eric drove in 4 runs including the game winning run.
The Titans led 4-2 and just needed three outs but the Mudcats score four runs on an inside the park home run. The Titans rallied for 3 runs off the Mudcats closer in the 8th to win the game 7-6. Carlos Zepada scored the winning run. The Mudcats did not throw their ace but the lefty that they threw did a great job using his defense and keeping the Titans off balace.
The Titans play next week against the Houston Black Sox.
Manager Write up
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY = A WIN. For those of you who missed the game between the Spring 2000 National League Champion Houston Mudcats and the Spring 2000 Central League Champion LC Titans, all that can be said is WOW. The Good - Clutch hitting, hustle, good coaching and decent baserunning. The Bad - poor fielding, poor relief pitching (1 crucial hit), and pulling a ball back into play. The Ugly - the officiating (bad calls both ways, you really need a two man crew), even Mike McCormick had things to say about it.
The game featured everything but an owl being hit. Controversial calls, three lead changes (two in the last inning alone), and a lot of heart. The game was pretty ho-hum for two potent offenses. Josh McCormick, the starting pitcher for the Titans, had a superb game cutting his fastball and using his curveball at times (one he should have more confidence in) to get batters out. As for the Mudcats pitcher, the Titans were just hitting straight at people wearing out the third baseball as much as Clinton did his interns. By the fourth inning, the score was 2-0 in favor of the Mudcats courtesy of Titan errors. However, little Mac held his composure on the mound and more importantly, the Titan's defense held. Finally in the 5th, the Boys in Blue put a tick on the scoreboard as Jason Thompson hit a single followed by a Frank Simonton double and a sac fly off the bat of Carlos Zepeda. The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the 8th when the Titans posted a 3-spot to put them ahead 4-2. These runs were provided by a Zepeda single, a great bunt by JoJo Jones (which he should do more often), and a reach on error for Dunn to load the bases for the hot hitting Eric Morales (E-Mo). E-Mo responding with a base clearing double as Dunn jumped in JoJo Jones' pocket somewhere around third and scored immediately behind him. But the game was not over.
In the 9th, the Mudcats proved why they are the best in the HMABL by scoring 4 off a very bizarre sequence of events. As temperatures where in the mid-90's, little Mac went further than anyone could have hoped, but allowed a walk and a single with only 1 out in the last frame. The normally dependable Chris Vela came in to close. Not feeling up to par (the only coaching mistake of the game, should have used JT), Vela issued a walk and then, in a revenge for losing a fellow owl the week before, the hooters cast a spell calling for the Twilight Zone. In an event the Titan's outfielders will remember always, a ball was hit in the gap to score the tying runs for sure, but as the ball approached the fence, it rolled underneath. The Titan outfielders smartly raised their hands to denote a ground rule double and the umpire paused the game momentarily. This is where the owls got their revenge, instead of kicking the ball even further under the fence, JoJo Jones (after being pelted with with chinaberries by the owls rendering him disillusioned) then pulled the ball back into play allowing the bases to clear. To JoJo's credit, a two-man umpire crew would have been out there on the spot and by the time the umpire behind home plate got out there, JoJo just reached under and retrieved the baseball. This left the Titans furious (especially the mild-mannered JT, yeah right) and a comeback was inevitable. Vela retired the next two batters and the comeback was on.
Jason Atwell, still steaming from the call, sizzled a lead-off single off the hard throwing Mudcat closer and this was probably the key to the comeback giving the Titans some hope being down by two runs. JT responded with a single and Ryan Laverell hustled out a bobbled ball by the shortstop off the bat of Zepeda (fighting with 2 strikes). This error allowed Atwell to score. Andrew Dunn then looped a single with two outs to score a hustling Laverell to tie the game. Now with the game tied, it was up to the offensive hero, up to that point, again with two outs. E-Mo delivered! With a mighty swing of the bat, Morales dribbled one just out of the reach of the second baseman allowing Zepeda to score the winning run. Personally, I would have walked Morales to get to Vela.
This day it was a lucky number 13, hits that is, as the Boys in Blue remained hot with the bats from the top to the bottom of the line up. By far, the most potent Titan offensive club to date. Offensively, the Titans hit the ball hard, but a lot of times right at the Mudcat talented defense. E-Mo kept his bat hot going a cool 3-for-5 with a double and 5 RBIs. Dunn and JT each contributed with a couple of hits. Vela, Jason Atwell, Carlos Zepeda, Frank Simonton, and Joey Jones each had a hit also.
Offensive MVP - Eric Morales (3-for-5, Dbl, 5 RBIs)
On the defensive side of the game, the hometown heroes went from committing just one error the week before, to committing 8 errors. This is a little misleading because the defense also made a lot of plays since there were only 3 strikeouts in 9 innings. Special recognition has to go out to the Titans, many players have to rotate positions and with so much talent, team players are needed and the Titans have them. The defensive highlight was the emergence of young Josh McCormick who pitched a strong 8 innings and was deserving of the win. Though Vela got the win through a blown save, little Mac pitched his a** off and got the defensive MVP for the game. OUT!
Defensive MVP - Josh McCormick (8-1/3 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 Ks)
Overall, the Boys in Blue have played two tough teams and are 2-0. The Titans face the Blacksox at 1:00 pm next Sunday in League City. This is a new rivalry with the Titans leading the all-time series 3 games to 1.
Titans 2001 Record 14-3
R H E
LC Titans 8 2 2
Houston BlackSox 4 4 1
SLOPPY WIN. It was truly a sloppy win for the Boys in Blue as a 30 minute rain delay shortened the game to 5 innings. It didn’t quite seem that the team got their money’s worth as they only batted 4 innings, but scored 8 runs. The wet ball allowed for many walks and hit batters, but the outcome was favorable as the Titans beat the BlackSox for the second consecutive game and the last 4 out of 5. These two teams will square off again in a few weeks in what proves to be another exciting game, and hopefully, a dry game.
The game started out as usual with the Titans allowing early runs on errors and the BlackSox had a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Titans got a run on a sacrifice fly by JoJo Jones to bring in the base stealing Carlos Zepeda. After being asked what got in him to steal bases, Zepeda replied, “I don’t know, I just felt fast.” In the 3rd, the BlackSox expanded on their one run lead by adding 2 more with a triple following a base hit and an error by the Titan third baseman. With the score 4-1, the Titans responded with patience at the plate, following the rain delay, and drew 3 walks (Mike McCormick, Chris Vela, Frank Simonton). Those walks along with a hit (Jason Atwell), an error, and a sac fly by Zepeda allowed the Boys in Blue to tie the game in the bottom half of the 3rd. Josh McCormick went to work and held the BlackSox scoreless in the 4th, despite the nasty pitching conditions and slick balls (no comments, PLEASE!) The Titans put the game away with their last at-bats in the 4th by scoring 4 more runs. With the McCormick brothers (the dynamic duo) reaching by way of base on balls and being hit by a pitch, Vela then hit a line drive into the left field corner and drove the two brothers in. Atwell was also hit by a pitch and Vela later scored on a past ball. Atwell scored on a past ball as well. Jason Thompson (J.T.) closed the game by retiring the batters in order in the 5th and final inning.
The Boys in Blue didn’t get a lot of hits, but walked a season-high 7 times and also had a season-high two sac flys. They also stole some bases and scored 8 runs in 4 innings. Chris Vela and Jason Atwell each went 1-for-2 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Zepeda had 2 RBIs as well and Simonton and Jones had a RBI apiece.
Offensive co-MVPs – Chris Vela (1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB)
Jason Atwell (1-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, HBP)
On the defensive side, it was pitching again. The tandem of Little Mac and JT held the potent BlackSox offense at bay. The young Josh McCormick pitched strong (4 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 Ks) for the second consecutive game and even Vela could not steal this one away from him. JT looked sharp (1 IP, 0 R, 0 H) finishing the game and is scheduled to start Thursday’s game against the hometown rival LC Astros.
Defensive co-MVPs – J. McCormick/J. Thompson (5 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 Ks)
Overall, the Boys in Blue are 3-0 and division leaders at this point. The Titans face the LC Astros at 7:00 pm on Thursday in League City for $100. Bring the cash Murphy!
Also, where are you Tommy Fraser? Give your coach a call.
Houston Black Sox 6
In what turned
out to be a grueling 2-game series between your hometown League
City Titans and the Houston BlackSox for Central League supremacy,
the LC Titans finished on top with a come from behind victory. In
games where pitching proved dominant and runs were hard to come
by, the Titans finally scored them with their backs to the wall.
Overall in the two game series, the Titans 1-2 combination of Chris
Vela and Marcos Quinones kept the Black Sox scoreless 15 out of
18 innings. The Titans lost the first game 4-1 with Vela getting
his first loss of the season, despite giving up only 4 hits in 9
innings. The second game was won by Quinones 7-6. Hats off to a
Black Sox team with a lot of heart and talent. Though, a lot of
talking was going on between the teams, there was much respect between
game proved to be a disappointment for the Titans who wasted a good
pitching outing by Chris Vela. Both teams were kept scoreless through
8 innings by good pitching and defense. In the end, a couple of
errors brought defeat to the Titans, as well as some blown opportunities
on the offensive end. The Final had the Black Sox on top 4-1 and
kept their hopes alive in a one game do or die.
Defensively, the players of the game were Vela, Quinones, and Eric
Morales. Vela dealt a masterful game (4 hits, 0 BB, 7 Ks, 9 IP),
keeping the BlackSox hitters off balance and striking out hitters
when he needed. The first hit off him came in the 5th inning. Behind
him, Marcos Quinones and Morales were spectacular making sliding
catches and Marcos making some great off balance throws and showcasing
the Titans were offensive (not the good way either). Only managing
7 hits through 9 innings and only 1 run. Chris Vela was 3-for 4
with a double, scoring the only Titan run. Andrew Dunn was 2-for-4
with a stolen base. Also, Carlos Zepeda and Eric Morales each had
a hit. The only real Titan threat was in the 6th inning when Dunn
and Morales lead off with 2 singles in a row. Vela would have added
the third single with no outs, but the Titans ran themselves out
of the inning by being caught stealing at third before Vela's hit
which would have drove in a run. Instead the Titans were held scoreless.
Titans just wanted to make things interesting with a do-or-die game
2. Thanks to the girls for cheering us on in tough conditions.
Game 2 saw much
of the same as Game 1 as Quinones kept the BlackSox scoreless through
7 innings. The Titans were committed to scoring more than 1 run
in this match up. In a game that came down to the wire, the Titans
did not need their last at bat as they became the Central Division
Champions by a count of 7 to 6. In a game that showed a lot of character
and heart, shadowed only a little by some trash talking, these two
teams went toe-to-toe for 9 tough innings with the good guys ending
up on top. The Titans were not going to be held scoreless for long
as Chris Vela drove in Andrew Dunn in the first. In the 6th, Dunn
doubled in Carlos Zepeda. Leading by 2, the Titans hurt themselves
by allowing two walks with two outs in the 8th inning. The BlackSox
took advantage and scored 4 to go on top. However, that woke up
the Titan's sleeping offense as they responded with 5 runs with
every run proving to be necessary against the never say die Black
Sox. The key to the big inning was Frank, with a 1-2 count, drawing
a walk and David "the Chicken" Moore pinch running to
supply speed. Also crucial was with a drag bunt rolling foul, the
Black Sox catcher touched it in fair territory and JoJo Jones beat
the throw to add another speedy runner to the base path with no
outs. After that, Andrew Dunn knocked a run in and Quinones helped
his own cause by singling in two more runs. Finally, what proved
to be ultimately crucial was Jason Atwell knocking two more runs
after Morales was hit by a pitch and wild pitches advanced the runners.
the players of the game were Quinones, Eric Morales, and Mike "A-Train"
McCormick. Quinones pitched a complete game (7 hits, 5 BB, 10 Ks,
9 IP), hitting corners and striking out hitters when he needed.
Walks were the only thing that hurt him allowing the runs to be
scored. Behind him, Morales made some great plays and McCormick
smothered everything dealt to him by the hard throwing Quinones.
Jason Usie made a huge play, scooping up a ball thrown in the dirt
off a difficult play made by Jason Atwell for a big out and killing
a threat. The only Black Sox threat came in the 8th inning, where
with two outs, Quinones walked two batters at the bottom of the
order and the Black Sox made him pay by scoring 4 runs. After a
great offensive inning, the Titans had enough breathing room and
Quinones closed the game, only after the Black Sox made it interesting
with two 9th inning runs.
there were many key players in the 5-run 8th inning comeback (Frank,
Moore, JoJo, Dunn, Marcos, and Atwell). Contrasting to the last
game, the Titans scored 7 runs on 14 hits. Dunn was 3-for-5 with
a stolen base and 2 RBIs, Atwell was 3-for-5 with 2 RBIS, Morales
was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, Quinones had a hit and 2 RBIs, Vela had
a hit and a RBI, and Zepeda/Frank/Jones had a hit and a run scored
Thanks to all
of the players for such a great season. Overall the Titan's record
was 12 wins, 3 losses with a .800 winning percentage and a Central
Division Championship Title knocking off the defending champs. Also,
a great appreciation goes out to the fans that are devoted enough
to go out to our games. Thanks!
The team would
like to share a special thanks to our scorekeeper and cheerleader
Becky! Anyone would be ecstatic to have her, see for yourself. Sorry
guys, she's taken.