Donn Roach got Bishop Gorman off to a fine start in the American Legion World Series on Friday in Shelby, N.C.
Roach tossed seven-plus strong innings, and the Titans held off a late rally by Omaha, Neb., to post a 7-5 victory in the opening game of the tournament.
Roach allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out seven.
“He didn’t have his best stuff, but he really went out and battled,” Gorman coach Chris Sheff said. “He settled in in the middle innings, and the only reason we had to take him out was his pitch count.”
The Titans (71-7-1), who will face Pasco, Wash., at 2 p.m. today, took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth. Roach left after giving up consecutive singles to start the eighth.
Run-scoring singles by Tyler Niederklein and Jesse Vervelde made the score 6-3. Niederklein scored on a wild pitch. Vervelde scored on a ground-out to cut Gorman’s lead to 6-5, but the Titans’ Paul Sewald got a strikeout to end the inning.
“Things happened pretty fast there, but Paul settled down and got a couple of big outs,” Sheff said.
Corey Lafler’s two-out RBI double in the ninth gave the Titans breathing room.
Jeff Malm pitched a perfect ninth to get the save.
Erik Van Meetren’s two-out single to right field in the first inning scored Malm and gave Gorman the lead for good.
“That was important,” Sheff said. “We scored four runs on two-out hits, and those are killers for a defense.”
The Titans led 3-1 after six innings and scored three runs in the seventh. Malm, Johnny Field and Van Meetren hit consecutive RBI doubles.
Malm was 2-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and an RBI. Field went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Van Meetren was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.