The Ottawa Titans’ long streak of winning baseball was ended with three consecutive losses at the hands of the Sussex County Miners between Tuesday and Thursday, but with the New York Boulders in town on Friday night, the Titans got back on track, winning 8-4.
The long ball was the theme of the night, with the Titans getting three courtesy of newcomer Taylor Wright, Brendon Dadson, and Jake Sanford late in the game. The Boulders smacked one of their own in the eighth inning, when Francisco Del Valle took Jack Alkire deep to right field to bring the Boulders within four runs.
But in the end, it was the Titans who took advantage of their opportunities more frequently, snapping their three-game losing skid, and climbing to within 1.5 games of the first-place Quebec Capitales.
“We had some great at-bats in the middle of our lineup with Sanford, Taylor Wright, and Dadson,” said Titans’ manager Bobby Brown. “We got some big hits and got the ball over the fence a couple of times.”
“That’s what’s going to happen with our boys,” Dadson said. “We’ve got some big bats, and in the last three games they have been quiet, but we have a bunch of guys who can pop off for a home run. That’s typical baseball for us. Hitting is hard, and it’s not always going to happen, but when we click like that, we can do a lot of things.”
On an individual level, Dadson’s bat had cooled off a touch in recent games. After a torrid start to the season, he registered three hits in the series against the Miners. But unlike earlier in the season, they weren’t getting over the fence. On Friday night, Dadson launched one out of Ottawa Stadium once again, serving as a confidence boost for the young Bowmanville, Ontario native.
“It’s huge,” Dadson said. “This game is ups and downs and it’s trying to stay in the ups more than the downs. It’s picking each other up. I know that I have guys that I trust with my swing and I go to them to pick me up when I need it. It’s just momentum to help keep this going.”
Although Ottawa’s offensive output was the game story, the Boulders didn’t make life easy on Titans starter, Jose Taveras.
“They really gave Taveras a battle,” Brown said. “He was over 100 pitches after five innings, and I think he was at 93 after four. Taveras did a great job of getting us through five innings with a short bullpen.”
But with both teams coming off three-game losing streaks, this was to be expected. Neither team wanted to lose this game, especially not with how tight the standings have suddenly become.
“I fell that the atmosphere on both sides was [desperations to win],” Brown said.
“We’re all looking at the standings and New York is right on our tails, as well,” Dadson said. “To beat them was big, but losing to Sussex County was big, too. We gotta win those games.”
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