By Rodney Young
Roanoke- The Titans Ryan Lauria, a University of Louisville signee, pitched all five innings before the lightning and rain started. He held the Cougars to just one run on three hits as the Cougars lost, 3-1.
The games first run came on a two out Tyler Blevins home run over the right field fence to put the Cougars up 1-0. Senior southpaw hurler Brandon Huff held the Titans in check until the bottom of the third, when Troy Paplomatis singled and then Jonathan Richmond hit a two run homer. Jack Moore then doubled off the fence and scored on a Matt Scribner single to give the Titans a 3-1 lead.
Huff went all 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and striking out three. Blevins not only homered, but also hit a double off the top of the fence to lead off the fourth inning but couldn’t advance any farther.
Lauria struck out eight Cougars while walking just one. Moore had two hits for the Titans.
The game was a very intense affair as the two teams exchanged words and looks. One Hidden Valley player was ejected and both teams got warnings. After Cougars Tyler Blevins hit his home run and then doubled, the Hidden Valley pitcher tried to pick him off of second base. Blevins was safe, but he got drilled in the ribs with the throw. This brought Cougar fans to their feet, as their shortstop never got in front of the bag to catch the throw.
Up 3-1 with two out in the bottom of the fifth lightning was seen and both squads were ordered to their dugouts. It then started to rain but the tarp that covers the mound and home plate was never moved by the Titans or ordered to by the umpires.
“We competed very hard today,” said Cougar Head Coach Doug Dunavant. “I’m proud of the way we did that. This was the most intensity I’ve seen from this team be this season. The last three or so games now we have played harder each time, and our demeanor has be very good.”
The Cougars were scheduled to wrap up their regular season this week. First they will play host to Blacksburg on Tuesday at historic Calfee Park. They then will travel to Salem for a Thursday game . First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. at each game.