ELIZABETHTOWN — The visiting Titans of Heidi Trask rallied from an early 2-0 hole to hand East Bladen a 4-2 Four County Conference loss on Friday.
The loss drops the Eagles to 4-7 in the conference and 5-13 overall, while Trask improves to 6-6 in the conference and 8-13 overall.
The Eagles opened the game with a run in the bottom of the first frame when Hastin McGill slapped a one-out single to left-center and went to third when Kyle Tatum hit a slicing double down the right-field line. Cameron West then lofted a long sacrifice fly to center that allowed McGill to tag and score.
East Bladen doubled its lead in the second inning when Colby Hester and Joe Strait led off with a singles. A double-play moved Hester to third and Alex Coates laced an RBI single to center for a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles threatened in the third when one-out walks to Tatum and West, along with a single by Matt Massengill, loaded the bases. But a pop-up to second and a ball that Strait crushed to center that was tracked down fizzled the inning.
After the scoreless third inning, Coates, the East Bladen starter on the hill, had allowed just a pair of Titan hits and appeared to be in control. But Heidi Trask knotted the score in the top of the fourth, thanks to a leadoff walk and a long triple to the wall in right field. An error — East Bladen’s lone miscue of the game — allowed the second run to trot home.
Coates set down the first two Trask hitters in the fifth on just two pitches, and then the floodgates opened — started by another walk. A single pushed the runner to third and the throw allowed the hitter to take second. The Titans took the lead when the next hitter belted a two-run single to left.
East Bladen mounted a threat again in the bottom of the sixth when Strait and C.J. McDowell hit one-out singles. A fielder’s choice put Eagles at first and third, but they were left stranded.
In the bottom of the seventh, West hammered a pitch to the base of the wall in left for a two-out double, but nothing materialized for the Eagles.
“Alex pitched well,” East Bladen coach Russell Priest said. “He gave us a chance and kept us in it. I couldn’t ask for anything more than he did.
“But we should have hit the ball better,” he added. “And when we hit it hard, it was right at someone.”
Coates took the tough loss on the hill, pitching a complete game with just 87 pitches. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out four.
At the plate, both Coates and Strait were 2-for-3, and Coates had an RBI. West was 1-for-2 with a double and RBI, and Tatum was 1-for-3 with a double. Tatum also threw out three base-stealers from behind the plate.
— The Eagles and Titans were supposed to complete a previous game that had been called at Heidi Trask because of rain in the second inning, but the Titans opted out and, instead, the game will be completed Wednesday in Rocky Point.