By Elizabeth Cadicamo
On March 5th, the SPC Titans baseball team took on Polk State at 6 pm for the first game of the start of the Conference Play at Joe DiMaggio Field in Clearwater. The Conference Play is a series of games that are the deciding factors of who makes it into the College playoffs.
It was a cool and damp evening with Drake Hloska starting for the Titans. Polk State got on board first after a fly ball to center with a runner on base making it 0-1, Polk State. Then it was the Titans turn to bat, and they started it off with infielder #5, Cornelius Copeland, getting a base hit and the next batter, #10, Kellen Brown, being walked. Titans outfielder #15, Trey Amburgey, came up to bat and hit a 3-run home run, making it 3-1 for the Titans.
After this, Polk State caught up and tied the game 3-3 after a fly ball hit to center field with two runners on and the Titans catcher missing the ball. In the top of the 4th inning there was a pitching change for the Titans and #9, Drake Hloska, headed to the mound. This was a rough inning for the Titans as Polk State scored 3 runs and makes it 3-6.
Then at top of the 6th inning, Titans infielder, #1, Nick DeTringo, hit a base hit making it 4-6 Titans. In the bottom of the 6th inning, there was another pitching change as #32, Tylor Craft, came in to pitch for the Titans. He has an impressive 1-2-3 inning, giving the Titans a chance to catch up in this game.
As the 8th inning approached, Polk State changed pitchers and with adrenaline racing, Titans batters had great at bats with #34, Logan Blum, #16, Mike Mann, and #27, Alan Archer, all walking and loading the bases for the Titans. Next, Titans #1, Nick DeTringo, batted and the pitcher for Polk State walked in a run, making it 5-8 Titans. Bases were still loaded for the Titans and after a pair of base hits, the Titans tied it and then passed Polk State, making the score 9-8 in the bottom of the 8th. At this moment, everyone was on the edge of their seats.
In the 9th inning, Titans #14, Jeremy Graf, came in to close it for the Titans. After a base hit and a pop fly to center, Polk State tied the game 9-9. Then, Polk State got the go ahead to run and the score changed to 9-10. After a misplay in the outfield for the Titans, another runner came home for Polk State, making it 9-11, which ended up being the final score of this game. Unfortunately, the Titans could not come back and win it in the bottom of the 9th, but what a thriller of a game this was to all the spectators in attendance. Both teams really fought hard and gave it their all from start to finish in this exciting first game of the Conference Play.
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