Titans rebound from slow start to beat Calhoun (w/video, gallery)

Victoria East catcher Mason Tipton sends Calhoun's Caleb Phillips sailing through the air with a tag in front of home plate during Tuesday's game at Riverside Stadium.

The ball was in shallow left field, but Victoria East coach Wes Kolle never stopped waving Trevor Brown home as he rounded third base.

The Titans trailed Calhoun 2-0 in the bottom of third inning, and Kolle knew his team needed some kind of a spark.

"We had to make something happen, and we had to be aggressive, and at the time, we weren't swinging the bat that well," Kolle said. "We had to light a fire under us, and it was fortunate that it worked out for us and got us going."

East scored five runs in the inning thanks to three Calhoun errors and went on to an 11-2 District 30-4A win on a chilly Tuesday night at Riverside Stadium.

The Titans (21-5) improved to 9-1 in district and put themselves in position to play for the outright district lead when they travel to Corpus Christi to play Calallen on Thursday.

"We're blessed with another opportunity to go down to Calallen and play for a district championship," Kolle said. "Now, it is the biggest game of the year. It's the next game on the schedule. We're going to go down there and try and take care of business."

East hardly looked like a team capable of winning a district title in the first three innings. The Sandcrabs (14-10, 4-7) had three of their five hits and took advantage of three East errors and two bases on balls to claim a 2-0 lead.

"We weren't focused," said East pitcher Adrian Gonzalez. "We were messing around a lot. The first three innings really got to us. That's when we had to wake up and figure out it was a district game. We came out the last innings and came out strong."

Gonzalez rebounded from the shaky start to hold Calhoun scoreless over the final four innings. He retired six of the last seven batters and finished with seven strikeouts.

"I just kept on telling myself to keep working and don't lose focus because of the first three innings," he said. "I settled down after a little while."

Calhoun continued to be plagued by its defense, committing another two errors in East's five-run fifth inning. The inning featured a four-base error when two outfielders bumped into each other, allowing the Titans to score three runs.

"This is a weird, funny, twisted game, and something's always going to happen that you've never seen before," Kolle said. "That's the beauty of baseball."

The best part for East is the chance to win its first outright district championship remains in its own hands.

"Hits for sure and scoring runs," Gonzalez said of what it will take to beat Calallen. "Keeping down the errors like today - we had four errors, and that led to two runs, and that can't be acceptable on Thursday."