Titans Edge Cubs; Curran Goes A Strong Eight

by Troy Misko
photos by Denevi & Jones

Kevin Novak�s Northern Illinois [Chicago MABL] Cubs had faced Tighe Curran before in the MABL American Division championship game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Curran pitched five innings for the Tinseltown Terror in 1998 without getting the decision, as the PCBL team edged the Cubs, 7-6.

Throwing Darts

In the 2001 MABL American title game, Curran worked a strong eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits and fanning eight, to lift the Pacific Coast Titans to their first World Series crown. Curran held the Cubs scoreless on two hits through six innings, mixing a good fastball with a deceptive change-up.
"Curran hit his spots when he had to and he threw darts," Titan co-manager Erich Magiar said. "He has been here before. He�s a big-game pitcher."

Errors Hurt Knizner

The Titans took advantage of uncharacteristic Cub errors early in the game to score two unearned runs off Rick Knizner. Anthony Martinez reached on an error in the first and later scored after back-to-back singles by Derek Patterson and Sal Villasenor. After Frank Diaz singled, Magiar delivered a two-out infield single accompanied by a throwing error that enabled Diaz to score.
"The mental errors in the field really hurt us," Novak said. "We knew this would be a tight ball game and that we would have to play tight defense. We didn�t do that."

Trading Deuces

The Cubs trailed 3-0 after a triple by Martinez and a single by Justin Collins in the third. They got to Curran for two runs in the seventh, after getting back-to-back hits from Tony Folino and David Schenck and taking advantage of an error and a sacrifice fly.
The Titans responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, Mike Cervantes was hit by a pitch, Martinez singled and a wild pitch advanced both runners. Collins contributed a sacrifice fly and Villasenor singled to right field to put the Titans ahead 5-2, the final margin. Villasenor pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
"It was a great game, but unfortunately we fell short," Novak said. "We hit the ball hard at times, but when we did, we hit it right at them."