Thorny loss for York Mills Titans

EAT MY DUST: Silverthorn Spartans catcher Brett Kinkley slides safely into third base after stealing the bag. He would later score on an RBI single during a two-run third inning. The Spartans would end York Mills season, winning 5-1. (FRANCIS CRESCIA/TOWN CRIER)

Silence was not golden for York Mills Titans as they lost 5-1 to Silverthorn in boys Tier 1 baseball on May 31.
Most of the season Titans coach Michael Doig said his team’s bats did most of the talking, but they came up mute during their West Region semifinal.

“There were a couple of errors but we’ve generally hit a lot better this season so the bats were a bit quiet today,” he said.

Regardless of the loss, Doig noted his outfield and hurler were key in keeping the game close.

“We were strong in the outfield,” he said. “We caught every thing that was hit out there and the pitching was awesome.”

Steve Balkos lasted all seven tallying eight strikeouts, three hits, three walks and five earned runs.

His adversary, Spartans ace Gage Benham matched Balkos’ inning count, sitting three batters down and walking four.

Both pitchers kept runs from crossing the plate through two, but it was Balkos who would relent, allowing two earned runs in the top of the third.

Silverthorn’s Brett Kinkley would cash in a run, and later score on a teammate’s single.

Two more would score in the top of the fifth, with Kinkley grabbing his second trip across the dish on a hot shot to the outfield.

Spartans coach Rich Panas said his team decided to break a losing cycle, one that has been happening for four years.

“I guess there was the motivation that it was our turn to turn it around,” he said, “and they knew they had to execute.

“They had to play well because every game one little play always went against us,” he said. “Today we did not want that to happen and actually they came through.”

Marcus Smith would score the Titans’ lone run, after a deep fly to second advanced him. Due to a greedy base runner, who got caught in a run-down between first and second, Smith would snare home before the third out.

Still, Doig said he was surprised with his team’s .600 season, noting York Mills is already preparing for 2011, as only two players are graduating.

“We thought it was going to be a building year, but then we started winning,” he said. “They really gelled as a team and we’re looking forward to next year.”

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