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Firebirds Rally, Fall in Extra Innings 

The Fremont Firebirds and Gunn Titans turned in a hotly contested baseball battle on Tuesday afternoon. The visiting Titans opened the scoring in the top of the first by plating a pair of runs off of Fremont starting pitcher Makaio Mullins.

The Firebirds came right back in the bottom of the first inning with a run of their own. Leadoff man Winston Wu reached on an infield single. Wu would steal second base before moving over to third on a solid single up the middle by Tyler Gray. Three hitter, Mihir Borkar, would beat out the back end of a double play ball to the shortstop, earning himself an RBI as Wu came home to score. At this point, fans in the stands might have been thinking they were in for a high-scoring contest between these two teams.

However, those two runs in the top of the first would be all that Mullins would allow in his five innings of work on the mound. His run support would be held to just two runs, though, on the other side of the ledger. The Firebirds would tie the score 2-2 with a run in the second. First baseman Patrick Bartido led things off with a swinging bunt and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Eventually, Yosh Borkar would single up the middle to drive home Bartido.

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From that point forward, neither team would score for the next four innings. The game would head to the seventh (normally the final inning in high school baseball) tied at two apiece. In the top of the seventh the Titans would rally for four runs to take a 6-2 lead. Given the Firebirds lineup had been shut down since the second inning, making up four runs in just a half-inning seemed like an impossible task.

Yet that’s exactly what they did.

It all started with a pop fly in the middle of the diamond right behind the pitcher’s mound that should have been caught. Two Titans infielders miscommunicated, and the ball dropped to the ground and Mullins was safe at first. Shortstop Samik Singh followed up with a solid single to left field to put two on base with nobody out. Bartido was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dmitri Wahlgren was next up and hit into a fielder’s choice, earning an RBI, pulling the score to within 6-3. Now with runners at the corners and one out, a wild pitch saw Singh cross home plate to bring the score to 6-4.

The inning kept going with both Arturo Moran and Yosh Borkar earning free passes and the bases were loaded yet again. Leadoff man Wu would then reach on an error by the shortstop. Everyone was safe and the score now read 6-5.

After a strikeout by Gray, Mihir Borkar came up to the plate with the Firebirds down to their final out. Mihir Borkar delivered with a hard hit single up the middle that deflected off the pitcher and stayed in the infield. The ball rolled far enough away that all runners safely advanced and the game was tied at 6-6.

At this point the game would head to extra innings where the Titans would eventually win by an 11-8 final in nine innings.

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