2015 25+

Towson Titans 3, Steve’s Sports 2

‘Kojack Pitches Gem to Dethrone Champs’

By Chris Errington, special to MSBL

November 14, 2015, Clearwater, FL – Overwhelming pressure wasn’t enough to keep Phil Kojack and the Towson Titans from not allowing Steve’s Sports to repeat from their 2014 title. The right-handed pitcher Kojack mixed pitches well throughout while holding Steve’s Sports scoreless over the final six inning to make each of the Titans’ three first-inning runs stand in a thrilling 3-2 victory.

“He pitched his tail off,” Towson manager Eric Price said. “He began to tire in the fifth, but just toughed it out. It was one of the greatest pitching performances I’ve ever seen.”

Towson received a two-run single from Chad Reeves and Ryan Welling’s sacrifice fly to left against tough-luck starter Nick Carucci in the first. It was all they’d get for the day. But with Kojack on the mound, it proved to be enough. Steve’s Sports responded with single runs in the second and third to pull within 3-2. First, Keith McLeod got Steve’s on the board with a sacrifice fly. Then, an inning later, Jake Plata’s two-out RBI single to center plated Matt Altieri.

Kojack would avoid further damage by inducing a two-out ground out in the fourth to escape a bases-loaded jam. Despite their best efforts, Steve’s Sports, which lost 6-3 to Towson during round-robin play, could never push across the game-tying run. “It’s painful for sure,” Steve’s Sports manager John Ramsey said. “It’s frustrating to be right there for so long, but we just couldn’t get the offense going. Their pitcher and catcher were an outstanding battery. They worked very well together.”

“I’m elated,” Price said. “We haven’t won one in a while, so this feels great. We were definitely concerned about not scoring [over the final eight innings]. Every time you play them, you hope to have more than a one-run lead late.”

Steve’s Sports, which was making its fourth consecutive Fall Classic title game appearance, finished round-robin play 4-1, before topping the Atlanta Dragons 12-4 behind Jeff Salay’s strong pitching performance. Winning the championship completed a 7-0 week for the Titans, after Josh Davis’ 8 innings on the mound were enough to pave the way for a 9-3 semifinal victory over the Brandon Bombers.

Steve’s Sports             0 1 1    0 0 0    0 0 0 – 2

Towson Titans             3 0 0    0 0 0    0 0 0 – 3