Titans baseball in three-way tie for first place

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Eric Gilbert, Sports Editor

 

The Titans came into a weekend of games with a perfect 6-0 conference record to give them sole possession of first place in the CCIW. Unfortunately, their trip to North Central on Saturday, April 4 proved to be a set back as they dropped both games of a double header to put them at 6-2 in conference and 14-6 overall.
Runs were hard to find for the Titans who were limited to just one in each loss (9-1 and 8-1).  In the first contest, sophomore shortstop Jarred Juskiewicz, sophomore catcher Pat Mollo and first-year designated-hitter Josh Kuntz supplied two hits apiece but it wasn’t nearly enough to compensate for North Central’s offensive
fire power.

Senior Matt Hart (2-1) struggled on the mound, going six innings and allowing 14 hits with five earned runs on two walks and a strikeout.   In game two, the Titans were once again limited to only eight hits.  Senior second baseman Derek Idstein was the only Titan to cross home plate as they dropped their second of the day to North Central.

Sophomore Jonathan Vlk (3-1) picked up his first loss on the year, going four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. Scoring one run in each game tied the Titans season low for runs scored, which came on Saturday, March 28, against Elmhurst.
“It was a frustrating day but that’s part of baseball. One day we score 17 runs and the next we only score one.” senior second baseman Derek Idstein said. “We just need to have a short memory and let this one be water under the bridge. There is still plenty of season left.”
Bounce back is precisely what the Titans did on Tuesday in a 12-3 win against Knox College.  An eight-run fourth inning propelled them to their fifteenth win of the season behind another phenomenal performance from junior first baseman Matthew Mardis.

Mardis tallied three hits and drove in two runs to improve his season average to .467.  Juskiewicz, first-year third baseman Gino Cavalieri and sophomore right fielder Nick Huskisson each collected two hits. First-year starting pitcher Mitch Goll got the win, working for the first three and 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and a strikeout.
“It was a great rebound win.  We got back on track offensively right before a very important stretch of conference games” said Huskisson.
Tuesday’s win gives the Titans an overall record of 15-6 and conference record of 6-2.  They are currently in a three-way tie for first place with Augustana and Carthage, who they have yet to play.

The 2015 CCIW title race is looking like one that will go down until the final few regular season games.