Titans get much-needed win over Navigators. Story by John Nestor
Tyler Bashlor (left), has recorded saves in the last two Torrington Titans wins after joining the team on July 4. Bashler (South Georgia) is reaching into the low to mid-90's with his fastball.
TORRINGTON - After a pair of tough losses the Torrington Titans desperately needed a win and Derek Richards, Conor Bierfeldt and Tyler Bashlor helped them get it.
Richards delivered a strong start, Bierfeldt had a pair of doubles and scored three runs and Bashlor recorded the final six outs by strikeout as the Titans posted a 4-1 victory over the North Shore Navigators on Thursday night at Fuessenich Park.
Gus Craig (Columbia) added two RBIs for the Titans (14-13), who ended a two-game slide with the win. Both losses came after Torrington took a lead into the ninth inning.
“It was a good game and a huge win for us,” Titans coach Misha Dworkin said. “honestly, it was a really, really big win because this team is so much better than today than it was to begin the season.”
A big reason why the Titans are good is their starting pitching and Richards (Babson) came through with another gem.
Two errors and an infield hit loaded the bases for North Shore in the top of the first but Richards got out of it and never was in any trouble for the rest of his start.
Richards improved to 3-2 on the season as he allowed four hits and struck out eight in six scoreless innings.
“I was able to locate my fastball down in the zone a lot better than I was the last couple starts and my breaking ball was on too,” Richards said. “That helped me get some ground balls, a couple timely strikeouts. I was able to hit my spots.”
After the first Richards set down the Navigators in order in the second and third and retired eight straight before allowing a single in the fourth. He then retired the final seven hitters he faced before turning things over to the bullpen.
“Derek was great tonight. He needed that start, if he pitches like he should pitch we are a really good baseball team,” Dworkin said. “When Derek pitches like that then every day we come out with a strong starter.”
After escaping the jam in the top of the first, the Titans took the lead in the home half of the inning with a pair of runs.
Bashlor (South Georgia College) singled and went to third on a double by Bierfeldt. Both scored as Craig and Gabe Craven (Florence-Darlington) added RBI base hits.
Bierfeldt (Western CT) ended up going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, a walk and he scored three times. He came home in the third to make it 3-0 and scored the Titans’ final run in the seventh on an RBI single by Craig.
“I had good at-bats tonight,” Bierfeldt said. “I have been working on being a little more patient at the plate, working the count and seeing more pitches. I was able to do that tonight.”
Travis Landry (Franklin Pierce) came on in relief of Richards in the seventh and set the side down in order. Michael Joseph (Middlebury) was not as successful in the eighth and left after allowing a pair of walks and an RBI single with two wild pitches.
It was a 4-1 game and the Navigators had runners on second and third with no outs when Bashlor came in and closed the door, striking out the side in the eighth and ninth to preserve the win.
“That’s a pro prospect,” Dworkin said. “He came in throwing in the 90s.and that’s just a southern arm. That’s why he’s a pro prospect.”
A walk and an error put two men on in the ninth for North Shore with no outs Bashlor again had the answer.
“I just come in and try to clean things up and was able to do it,” Bashlor said. ’I just threw a two-seam and a four-seam fastball tonight and was able to get outs.”
And get the Titans out of a jam and back into the win column.
The Titans are back in action Friday when they travel to Orchard Beach to take on the Raging Tide.