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Titans push win streak to 5

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Miller strikes out 11 in complete game win

By Josh Cook

Paul Miller had another impressive pitching performance to lead the Collins baseball team to its fifth consecutive victory.

Led by Miller’s complete-game, 11-strikeout effort, the Titans topped visiting DuPont Manual 9-1 Saturday.

“Paul pitched a great game again,” said Collins Coach Roy Bailey, whose team improved to 9-1 with the triumph. “He and the rest of our seniors are starting to carry the load."

Seniors Dre Farris and Zac Wiley also continued their hot starts at the plate, both went 2-for-3 to lead the Titans’ 9-hit attack. Farris scored three runs and Wiley two, while senior Mason Jeffries added three RBIs and Collins recorded its first-ever victory over the Crimsons. 

“Our players are understanding and executing a consistent approach at the plate,” Bailey said. “Manual has always been a tough opponent for us. It was a good win.”

After the Crimsons plated one run in the top of the first inning, the Titans scored three runs in the third, four in the fifth and two in the sixth to clobber the Crimsons, who beat Collins 6-4 in 2011, 8-1 in 2012 and 8-6 last year.

Manual drew first blood in the fourth meeting. Three of the Crimsons’ first four batters of the game singled to produce Manual’s lone run, and the first earned run given up by Miller this season. It was smooth sailing for the senior right-hander after that, though. Miller gave up just two hits the rest of the game, while also walking four, to improve to 3-0 on the mound. And even though his earned-run average increased ever-so-slightly, from 0.00 to 0.37, his season strikeout total rose to 28 in only 19 innings pitched.

And the Titans’ bats offered Miller plenty of run support.  

In the bottom of the third, sophomore Bryson Dillow led off with a single. He stole second with one out before Farris walked, then moved to third when Wiley walked. Dillow scored when Manual starter Jake Rist walked Jeffries. Farris and Wiley scored shortly thereafter when Miller reached base on an error by the Crimsons’ shortstop.

In the bottom of the fifth, Farris led off with a single, stole second, then advanced to third on an error by Manual’s catcher before scoring on E.J. Burk’s single to right field. Burk then stole second and advanced to third on Wiley’s ground out before scoring on Jeffries’ double to center field. After Miller walked, his courtesy runner, Nick Palmer, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on Hunter Perry’s single to center field.

Farris, who is hitting .321 this season, led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to right field. He moved to second and then third after Manual misplayed a single by Wiley, who is hitting an astounding .593.

Farris scored his team-high tying 13th run of the season on Jeffries’ sacrifice fly before Wiley scored his 13th run thanks to an error by the Crimsons’ left fielder on the play.

The Titans, who hosted Christian Academy of Louisville on Tuesday, next host Elizabethtown (7-2) at 6 p.m. Friday night and North Oldham (7-3), which handed Collins its lone loss, at noon Saturday.  

 

Collins 9, Manual 1

Manual 100 000 0 – 1 5 5

Collins 003 042 X – 9 9 1

Jake Rist, Joseph Tufaro (5), Ben Oppenheimer (6) and Chris Gambert. Paul Miller and Chris Crotzer. W – Miller (3-0). L – Rist. 2B – Mason Jeffries (CHS). Records – Manual 6-5, Collins 9-1.