Titans Triumphant in Fergie Finale

by Jim Stewart

The Titans Baseball Club closed a chapter in its history with three impressive victories and a gutsy tie in their final weekend in the Fergie Jenkins Showcase League.  On September 1, the Titans organization will grow from two to four teams and move to the Canadian Premier Baseball League as one of five expansion franchises.

For this past weekend, however, the Titans kept their eye on the present circumstances and played between the white lines with admirable effectiveness. 

The 16U Titans closed off their successful FJSL season with a doubleheader sweep of the Ontario Giants by claiming 14-5 and 10-1 wins. The 18U Titans secured a 1-1 tie with the Ontario Rockies and a 5-0 win over the Bulletproof Prospects to ensure an undefeated final weekend in games played at the Tottenham Community Centre on Sunday.

In their 14-5 victory, they broke open a 4-4 tie in the fourth inning when Carson Barnett delivered the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice. The Titans yielded three runs in the first innings, but starter Justin Shin settled down to allow his team to stoke the offensive fires. Shin’s teammates supported his efforts by banging out eleven hits.  The veteran right-hander went five innings, allowing five runs on six hits, and struck out three Giants to earn the win. Jaxen Lehr led the Titans with three hits. Noah Casult and Wyatt Slocum added two hits each.

In their 10-1 win, the 16U Titans jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Dylan Reeves and Reese Irvin drew bases loaded walks to stake the Titans to a 2-0 margin. JT Lehr made it 3-0 in the second inning when he hit the Titans’ only home run of the day. The Titans added three runs in the fourth inning as Josh McBride and JT Fenn showed patience at the dish by drawing bases loaded walks and Irwin added a Sac Fly RBI to pull away from the Giants. McBride earned the win by pitching three innings, allowing one run on two hits, striking out three and walking one.  Cameron Byers and Faisal Al Ajeel pitched effectively in relief.

The 18U doubleheader had a deepened sense of finality to it as the Titans bid farewell to two veterans who performed brilliantly in their final games with the organization.  Head Coach and Director of Baseball Operations Lawrence Vera was pleased with “Graduating pitcher Ethan Moulds and Ryan Fisher who each threw outstanding games in their final day in a Titans Uniform... They will always be a part of our baseball family.”  Vera’s team shook off a rough prior weekend and put it all together in their last two games in the FJSL.  

In their 1-1 tie with the Ontario Rockies, a groundout in the sixth inning pulled the Titans into a 1-1 tie. Hayden Norman and Cooper Tomkinson each collected one hit to lead the Titans in a hotly-contested defensive struggle where offence was at a premium.

The 18U Titans got outstanding pitching in its 5-0 win over the Bulletproof Prospects.  The Titans offence woke up to plate four runs in the fifth inning.

The fifth inning uprising was sparked by a single by Hayden Norman, an error on a ball put in play by Alex Gombocz, and a double by Mathew Brandt. Ethan Moulds earned the win by delivering six effective innings, allowing zero runs on two hits and striking out five.  Kobe Geofroy threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen to seal the shutout.  The Titans banged out nine hits in the game, including two each by Norman and Brandt.

The Titans closed a curious final chapter in the Fergie Jenkins Showcase League that featured a regular season that was played in spite of the chaotic and scary forces of a pandemic.  Teams adhered to the FJSL’s excellent safety protocols to keep players, coaches, and parents healthy. This weekend’s triumphant ending smoothed the transition from league to league and opened a new chapter as four Titans teams will experience life as an expansion franchise in the CPBL starting with Evaluation Camp on September 1 at Stewart Burnett Park in Aurora.  Exciting times, indeed, for the Titans Baseball Club as our community kicks off Fall Ball.