Titans fall short against Timberlane, 7-5

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Nashua North shortstop James Bolton hurdles over Timberlane's Cam Lovett while infielder Trevor Kelly tries to help him avoid injury during the Titans' 7-5 loss to the Owls Friday at Holman Stadium.

NASHUA – Nashua High School North baseball coach Zach Harris is waiting for that 2018 feeling.

“We’ve got to come ready to play with the passion and love for the game, like the precedent we set last year,” Harris said after the Titans fell 7-5 to Timberlane Friday at Holman Stadium.

Last year, in his first season as head coach, the Titans were energized early on, but this year they’ve gotten off to a 1-3 start, and it didn’t help that they left the Owls off the hook by loading the bases three times but coming up with only three runs.

“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Harris said. “And pitching hasn’t been anywhere near good enough for us. Our pitching has really struggled.”

Friday was another example of that. Starter Varun Lingadal was OK early but gave up two runs in the third and was pulled in the fourth after allowing a one-out double. And the bullpen couldn’t keep things together in a 3-3 game as the 2-4 Owls, who came in suffering a four-game losing streak, broke things open with four in the fifth off North reliever Alex Meesig to grab a 7-3 lead. The key blows were an RBI single by Cam Sweet and booming double by Stephen Morris. The Titans didn’t help themselves defensively as the inning began with an error by North shortstop James Bolton and a run also came in on a throwing error by catcher Jafet Rodriguez.

“We’ve struggled offensively since the first game of the season, hit a rough four-game patch where we didn’t hit much,” Owls coach Jamie Fish said. “We absolutely needed to stop the bleeding, it was just what the doctor ordered.”

Trevor Kelly drove in three runs for the Titans with two sac flies and a bases loaded walk in the fourth that tied the game. North did rally off Owls reliever and winning pitcher Cam Lovett with two runs in the sixth after loading the bases with none out, but both were on sac flies (Kelly and Bolton) and couldn’t seem to get that big hit. The Titans left 10 men on.

“Unfortunately we always seem to be digging out of a hole,” Harris said. “Defense, too, we’ve got to make routine plays, and we’ve got to me more aggressive at the plate.”

The Titans have three straight weeks of four games thanks to all the rainouts.

“That’s baseball in New England,” Harris said. “There’s only one thing to do, and that’s have a boxer’s mentality and come out swinging.”

Like they did in 2018.