Perhaps the only things Duncan fans saw more of Friday night than pink shirts were home runs.
DHS and Carl Albert combined to hit eight balls out of Sportsman’s Park, but it was the top-ranked Titans who came out on top 18-11.
Home runs by Dylan Linke and Camden Dennard helped the Demons get back into the game as they cut a 10-2 deficit to 10-9 in the fourth, but a few homers of their own helped the Titans pull away to seal the victory.
“We knew coming in Carl Albert was a good team, and that we were going to have score a lot to beat them,” Duncan coach Tim Hightower said. “They got their runs like we knew they would, and if you’re going to give up home runs to them, it’s better to just be solo ones.”
Taylor Hawkins was the player causing the most damage to Duncan, as he hit three homers off two different Demon pitchers.
Hawkins’ third of the evening came in the sixth inning, a two-run shot to left, which sealed the game for the Titans, putting them up 18-11.
Duncan’s players showed they could go yard as well.
After four runs in the third, Carl Albert’s lead was 10-2, with all signs pointing to a potential run-rule victory.
Dylan Linke had other ideas, however, quickly cutting the lead to 10-4 in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer to left.
After a sacrifice fly by Riley Peters and an RBI single from Dylan Gilbert, catcher Camden Dennard came to the plate.
With one swing of the bat, it seemed momentum had shifted, as Dennard sent Cody Moore’s pitch deep into the night sky over the left field fence, putting Duncan within one run.
Unfortunately for the Demons, this was as close as they got to an upset.
In the fifth, Alex Polstin scored on a wild pitch before his brother Korbin added an RBI double to center field.
Two errors in the outfield allowed the inning to continue, and the Titans cashed in.
Steve Thompson added two more runs with a double, increasing the lead to 14-9, while Price got an RBI triple, later scoring on a double steal attempt.
“You can’t predict the future, but I like our chances with us in the lead and Thaxton entering the game,” Hightower said. “Those two errors really cost us, and we could have taken the lead. That’s just how things happen.”
Cade Baldwin attempted to get the Demons back in the game with two RBIs in the bottom of the fifth, but was thrown out at second to end the threat.
Carl Albert made sure there wasn’t going to be a repeat of its last meeting with Duncan, as the Titans came out swinging in the first inning.
Facing a 2-2 count against Duncan pitcher Mason Pewitt, Chevin Moony got the Titans on the board with a blast over the left field wall.
Hawkins then came to the plate, and followed his teammate’s lead with a homer of his own, which just squeezed under the scoreboard to make it 2-0.
With the first batter of the second inning Jared Price, came another trot around the bases for the Titans.
Price registered Carl Albert’s third run of the game with another shot to left, before Hawkins got his second of the game three batters later, this one going over the scoreboard making it 6-0.
Andrew Hooper got the Demons back into the game with a two-run shot to left-center in the second inning, cutting the Titans’ lead to 6-2.
An error hindered Duncan’s comeback in the third inning. An overthrow to first base off a bunt allowed two more runs to score for the Titans, before Alex Postin and Hawkins each collected RBIs to make it 10-2.
Spencer White (0-1) took the loss for the Demons, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings of work.
Randy Allen got the win for the Titans (7-1) going three innings allowing just two runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
Duncan will find out its regional playoff destination and opponent on Monday afternoon.
CARL ALBERT 18, DUNCAN 11
R H E
Car. 244 062 0 - 18 18 0
Dun. 024 320 0 - 11 12 6
Mason Pewitt, Spencer White (2), Dylan Gilbert (5), Christian Thaxton (6) and Camden Dennard. Seth Blanton, Cody Moore (3), Randy Allen (4) and Chevin Moony. WP: Allen (7-1) LP: White (0-1). 2B: Taylor Hawkins (CAHS), Korbin Polston (CAHS), Steve Thompson (CAHS). 3B: Jared Price (CAHS) HR: Hawkins (3) (CAHS), Mooney (CAHS), Price (CAHS), Dylan Linke (DHS), Camden Dennard (DHS), Andrew Hooper (DHS).