Titans edge Canadian Junior National Team
TORRINGTON - The Torrington Titans got to have some fun and picked up a win Friday night as they edged the Canadian Junior National team, 1-0, in an exhibition game at Fuessenich Park.
The Titans got a look at newcomer Zach Taylor, and had to like what they saw, and then patched things together on the mound while keeping the Canadians off the scoreboard. Torrington had a tough time at the plate, managing just two hits, but was able to push across the winning run in the fifth and survive the last couple of innings.
"This was a fun game," Torrington coach Misha Dworkin said. "It was good to get out and have some fun and let some guys do some different things."
For Torrington it was fun and a chance to take a break from the FCBL grind but the Canadian Junior National Team is working toward the World Championships later this summer and using its New England Tour to figure out a final roster for the tournament.
"We have some decisions to make and we're using the tour to do that," Canadian Team coach Greg Hamilton said. "We have a position or two to make decisions on and about four or five pitching decisions. It's good for us to get out and play against older and more experienced players. It only helps our kids."
The decisions for Team Canada will probably be tough because the roster is filled with talented players. Canada's roster for its 2013 New England Summer Tour includes seven players who were selected in the MLB draft including starting pitcher Cal Quantrill, who was picked by the New York Yankees.
Quantrill had about half a dozen teams gauge his interest in the second round but he informed them he was headed to Stanford after not being selected in the first round. The Yankees chose Quantrill anyway and will have his rights for the next year.
"My goal was to make myself a first-round pick and I just missed it," Quantrill said. "As a righthander I have to be a little better, maybe throw a little harder and I'll have a chance to do that at Stanford."
Quantrill certainly looked like a pitcher with a professional future Friday night, mixing in a fastball in the low 90s, Quantrill allowed just one run and one hit in six innings with eight strikeouts and a pair of walks.
"It was a good outing," Quantrill said. "It was a grinding day, I didn't feel completely comfortable out there but I had pretty good stuff and kept us in the game."
The Titans scored the games only run in the fifth. Shortstop J.J. Gould, who had both of Torrington's hits, doubled to left center with one out. Gould stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bradley Keith.
The Titans pitching staff made the run stand up. Taylor went three innings and allowed two hits and had a pair of strikeouts. Tom Quicker pitched a perfect fourth and Brian Fay had a strikeout in the fifth and picked up the win. Rhett Jones came on for the next two innings and held things down while Mike Odenwaelder pitched the eighth and Keith, who played in the outfield most of the game, came on in the ninth and picked up the save.
Now Torrington (10-12) will set its sights on climbing the FCBL standings. The Titans are tied for fifth in the FCBL and have nine games in an eight-day span starting Sunday when they travel to take on Nashua. Dworkin feels his team can make a move if it can get some more bats going and avoid some injuries that have sidelined some of his pitchers.
The Titans are just 1/2 game out of fourth and two games out of third with plenty of baseball to play.
"We're still trying to sort a few things out in our lineup, we aren't completely comfortable there and we have had a couple injuries to guys in our starting rotation," Dworkin said. "If we can get through our rotation, with the five guys we have going through their turn each time over the next 20, 25 games, we'll be alright."