May 15—TRAVERSE CITY — It was a two-out-rally that turned the tides for the Titans.
Grand Blanc, ranked No. 17 in Division 1, overcame a two run deficit in the fifth inning to beat Traverse City West 11-5.
It's the first game of a Traverse City weekend series with Muskegon Oakridge and Grand Blanc (18-6). The Bobcats stay in town and play both Traverse City Central and Muskegon Oakridge Saturday. Central beat Oakridge 12-2 Friday.
The Titans (14-7) head to Big Rapids Saturday for a nonconference doubleheader.
TC West held a 5-3 lead going into the top of the fifth inning, then Grand Blanc scored four runs with two outs without getting a hit. West responded with just one hit in the final three frames and the Bobcats finished the night with eight unanswered runs.
"It was close to start off, I thought we were gonna have it," said junior third baseman David Dimondo. "In the end we just didn't communicate and work together."
Luke Robertson was dealt the loss for West. He lasted 5.2 innings and walked in the tying run in the fifth. Aidan Dungan walked the go-ahead run in relief and didn't record an out.
Aidan Rapin went 2-for-3 with two runs and a RBI, Gavin Brown hit a RBI triple and Wyatt Danilowicz doubled in the seventh inning. Ian Robertson had two RBIs with a hit, Henry McKean added one in the first inning as well.
"Obviously the score is a little deceiving, but at the end of the day the score is what it is," West coach Matt Bocian said. "We let one mistake turn into several (in the fifth inning) ... I just have to do a better job at keeping them in the game."
Bocian said even with the loss the Titans were competitive with a very good ballclub for five out of the seven innings.
"Now we just have to put it together," he said. "And the kids need to keep learning and keep growing. So we got some work to do."
Now the Bobcats turn their attention to the other Traverse City team with a player committed to Louisville. TC Central (18-2-1) is also ranked in Division 1, coming in at No. 19.
Earlier this week Grand Blanc scored three runs in a Tuesday game against Orchard Lake St. Mary. Most teams haven't even been able to do that against the loaded Eagles that feature 13 Division 1 commits and first round draft hopeful Alex Mooney.
The Bobcats roster Notre Dame commit David Lally, who hit a home run straight to centerfield off of Robertson in the game against West.
"We've been playing here every year for the last four or five years and it's always a battle," Grand Blanc coach Kevin Hubbs said. "We've been chasing good weather, we haven't had a game over 60 degrees, probably."
Neither team will meet again until deep in the postseason. Districts begins June 4. Until then the Titans have Big North Conference doubleheaders with Gaylord and Cadillac, and eight nonconference games.
West meets Alpena in districts. The Titans beat the Wildcats in both games of its doubleheader Tuesday 8-0 and 19-1. On the other side of the bracket is Traverse City Central, who has Mt. Pleasant in the first round.
Central's game with Grand Blanc starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Trojans also host Forest Hills Eastern at 1 p.m.
Follow Andrew Rosenthal on Twitter @ByAndrewR