BASEBALL: Titans, Jags split scrappy doubleheader

By Chris Zadorozny

In a dicey doubleheader to take the league title lead, the Allen Park Jaguars and Anderson Titans faced off in Southgate on Wednesday afternoon.

Both teams earned a win in the doubleheader, but Southgate still holds the league lead heading into the weekend.

The Titans jumped out first in game one with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Paul Sullivan walked to start the bottom half of the inning. A second walk to Tyler Hall put men on first and second. Two batters later, catcher Tyler Shumake had an RBI groundout, scoring Sullivan. Hall would score on an RBI single from Bobby Bellon.

The Titans then added another run in the third inning via an RBI double from Shane Freitag, scoring Hall.

The Jaguars answered with a run of their own in the top of the fourth inning when Nick Willetts doubled in Trevor Simms to cut the lead back to two.

Willetts would later try to score on a flyout by Justin Nester. He tagged up third and sprinted for home, only to come up short by steamrolling Shumake, which is illegal in high school baseball. Willetts was tossed from the game and had to sit out of game two.

Fans and parents weren’t happy and the jawing back and forth began between both sides the rest of the night.

The Jags tried to rally late, and scored centerfielder Damien Bortolussi on an RBI single from Simms. Unfortunately for the Jags, that was the only run they scored in the final frame, to fall 3-2 to the Titans.

Allen Park pitcher Jake Makowski had six innings of work in the loss, throwing 75 pitches, striking out six, walking three and allowing five hits. Josh Lockwood opposed Makowski for the Titans and threw 129 pitches, allowing only two runs on nine hits, while striking out three and walking six.

“I thought we hit the ball pretty good in the first game, but they made plays. They got key double plays,” said Jaguars head coach Glenn Gulliver.

Game 2 was similar in the fact that it was close, but chirps from the crowd and from the players escalated the game to become very tense. Even before the game started, Willetts wanted to apologize to Shumake for the collision, but Anderson head coach Dave Fast wouldn’t allow it.

Jaguars’ pitcher Jose Salinas had a ball sail over shortstop Gabe Becker’s head, the second batter of the first inning, infuriating the crowd. Titans’ pitcher, Greg Galetto would do the exact same over the head of Nester, earning a warning for both sides. This didn’t sit well with anyone.

The game settled down and the Jaguars struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Centerfielder Ryan Oakley singled in Simms to score the first run. Anderson came back with a three-run fourth inning. Second baseman Dylan Downs doubled in both Shumake and Blake Sloan before Galetto came around to score on a Kyle Riddle sacrifice fly to right field.

The Titans then extended their lead to 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning. Sullivan reached on a single, was balked to second, and stole third base on a passed ball. Shumake then singled in Sullivan to put the Titans up by three.

The Jaguars rallied to tie the game in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Nester led off with a single, advanced to second on a Salinas walk, and then stole third. Makowski singled in Nester and advanced Salinas to third, who then stole home on a passed ball to cut the lead to 4-3. The rally was completed later in the inning with a game-tying run on an RBI groundout.

The Titans tried to answer, but couldn’t and the Jaguars won in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Oakley singled with two outs in the sixth, and then advanced all the way home on a double from Nester and a throwing error allowing him to score.

Anderson went quietly in the top of the seventh in the loss.

Salinas threw 81 pitches in six innings of work, striking out two and walking one, allowing only four runs and nine hits. Galetto threw 80 pitches allowing four runs on eight hits in four and two thirds innings of work. He struck out three and walking two. Downs came in and pitched two and a third innings of work, only throwing 13 pitches. Downs was hit with the loss.

“Our pitchers struggled all day trying to stay ahead of hitters. I thought our kids played hard and competed. There’s a lot of emotion, there’s two teams that are tied for first place and a lot to play for, two competitive coaches, two competitive teams, all the extra-circulars we could’ve done without, but that’s part of it too,” said Anderson head coach Dave Fast.

The Jaguars are scheduled to play against Belleville on Saturday, Roosevelt on Monday and finish the regular season with a doubleheader against Lincoln Park on Wednesday. The Titans have a doubleheader against Toledo St. John’s on Saturday, face Melvindale on Monday, and then finish the regular season with a doubleheader against Roosevelt on Wednesday.

To read the original post that appeared in the Downriver News-Herald on May 16, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald

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