SHIRLEY -- It was a beautiful evening for baseball Wednesday at Dale Prentiss Field, as the Shirley Hawks and Shirley Titans waged battle for the Majors-60 Tournament Crown, and, of course, bragging rights.
The Hawks were led at the dish by the smooth-strokes of Johnny Pinard, who finished the night a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with 3 RBI, as the Hawks slid past the Titans 10-2.
The visiting Titans started the game off on the right foot, as Jake Fowler walloped a single to dead center field. Fowler advanced to third on a groundout to the right side by Mike Woodland and a passed ball. Muse MacLaughlin over-swung on an off-speed pitch from starting Hawks hurler Nathan Hunt, to end the top of the first.
The Hawks flew the nest in the bottom half of the inning, stockpiling four runs on five hits. Hunt led things off for the side in Navy with a slicing single to right field.
On the ensuing pitch, Hunt swiped second base to put a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Next man up for the Hawks was the strong-swinging bat of Andrew Consalvo.
Andrew Consalvo sprayed a bloop single into left-center field to set the stage for Pinard. Pinard made his bat sing with a two-base screamer down the third-base line, which brought home Andrew Consalvo and Hunt to make it 2-0 Hawks.
Clean-up hitter Russell Thompson blasted a worm-burner up the middle, which rolled past the center fielder, and allowed Pinard to score. Jake Gerace coaxed a one-out RBI dribbler down the first base line to score Pinard, and push the Hawks' lead to 4-0.
Titans' starter Chris Rooney settled down and retired the next two batters he faced to cauterize the scoring and keep it at 4-0. Tyler Meehan reached on an infield single to start the inning, but was thrown out as Joe Robinson reached on a fielder's choice to the third-base side.
Gabe Davis laced two-out ball-with-eyes past the diving glove of MacLaughlin at third, but he was left stranded as Hunt sent Dillon Granberg packing on a change-up. The Titans backed themselves into a corner in the second inning, by allowing the first three batters to reach safely.
Brandon Consalvo strode home on a one-out bases juiced walk to make it 5-0 Hawks, that would be the last run they would muster in the frame, as Rooney worked his way out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts. Ian Shack advanced safely to first on a dropped third strike to begin the third.
Hunt dug in and picked up back-to-back strikeouts via his dazzling curve ball. Hunt caused Fowler to tap out to second for the final out of the inning, with the Hawks still out in front 5-0. The Hawks tacked on four additional runs on four hits in the home half of the third.
Hunt cranked a double into the gap in left-center and would eventually come around to score on an RBI single to left by Andrew Consalvo. Thompson reached on a fielder's choice, which allowed Andrew Consalvo to scamper home. Deklan Heinz peppered a chopper towards third base, but MacLaughlin flashed the leather with a great scoop and throw to first for the final out of the inning. The
Hawks led 9-0 after three, and the Titans refused to go down silently. Woodland led off the fourth with a single to left center. Rooney followed that up by lofting a double into deep centerfield, which brought home Woodland with the Titans' first run of the night.
Davis squirted a two-out liner down the first-base line to bring across Rooney, and cut the deficit to 9-2. The Hawks added one more run in the sixth inning to round out the scoring.
Rooney and Davis both singled and recorded RBI's in the loss. The Titans finish the season with an overall record of 12-3, while the champion Hawks end the year at 13-1. Andrew Consalvo (2-for-3), and Thompson (2-for-3, 2B) turned in notable performances for the Hawks.
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