Gibbons stars, Titans get by Rox, 5-1.
BROCKTON, MA: Mike Gibbons came to Torrington for his second stint with the Titans to be their ace, to be the guy they turned to when they needed a big win in a key spot.
Over his past four starts, Gibbons has lived up to that lofty goal and he saved perhaps his best for Sunday night when, with the season entering its final week and playoff implications a plenty, the Wheaton College junior threw seven innings of one run, two hit ball as the Titans beat the Rox by a 5-1 final.
Gibbons struck out 11, giving him 37 strikeouts in his last four appearances, each of which has been at least five quality innings. He improves his record to 4-2 (the Titans have won 7 of his 10 starts) and lowered his ERA to 4.79. His 50.2 innings leads the team, his 59 K’s now lead the FCBL.
With Michael Odenwaelder no longer with the team (his Amhearst College baseball team is playing in Japan for two weeks), the Titans needed someone to step up and on Sunday R.J Going took Odenwaelder’s spot in the three hole and posted a 3 for 4 night with a run scored.
It’s going to be a fun last week of the regular season, with the six playoff spots still up for grab, especially the seeding’s.
Here’s how the playoffs break down.
The top six teams make the post season; the West and East Division winners get a bye on Saturday, August 9 when the other four teams fight for the next round in a one game, winner take all scenario.
Three plays six, four plays five with the higher seed at home.
Right now in the East, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks hold a percentage point lead over the slumping Rox. The two are the only teams over .500 in the division.
All five teams in the West have a chance to make the post season with the Worcester Bravehearts (29-21) leading the division by two games over Torrington and the Nashua Silver Knights who both hold 26-22 marks.
The Pittsfield Sun (24-24) have lost eight of the last ten but would still make the cut but they have to watch out for the Wachusetts Dirt Dawgs (25-26) who are the hottest team in the league at the moment, winning eight of their last ten.
Torrington is off on Monday and will end up playing only 53 games instead of 56 due to late season rain outs that could not be rescheduled in time.
On Tuesday, the Titans play their next to the last home game when they host the Bravehearts at Fuessenich Park at 7 p.m. followed by three crucial games in two days against the Silver Knights on the road.
A double header on Wednesday followed by a single game will lead up to the regular season finale against the Seacoast Mavericks, who also still have a shot at one of the prized six spots for a chance to keep playing in the second full week of August.
If a team advances from the Saturday game, another three game set awaits them with the two winners of that series advancing to the finals, also a best of three.