Titans have one of those nights in loss to Dirt Dawgs. Story By John Nestor
Torrington catcher Ryan Plourde (Fairfield), is greeted at home after crushing a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning on Wednesday night against Wachusett. The former Holy Cross star has seven RBI's so far this season.
TORRINGTON – Patience is a virtue, if it also was a guarantee for scoring runs the Torrington Titans would have remained unbeaten Wednesday night.
Patience at the plate gave the Titans a chance but ultimately the lack of a clutch hit resulted in their first loss of the season, 3-2, to the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs at Fuessenich Park.
Torrington (3-1) drew 12 walks but only had four hits, none after catcher Ryan Plourde (Fairfield) homered in the fourth inning to give the Titans a 2-1 lead.
“One clutch hit was all we needed,” Torrington coach Misha Dworkin said. “When you get that many chances you have to break the opposing pitcher. We were patient, that's good, but we needed a big hit.”
The Titans needed it, but it never came.
Plourde belted a shot to left for his first home run of the season to put the Titans on top 2-1. It was a good sign for Plourde, who is off to a fast start and who didn't homer until his final at-bat of last season.
He's now hitting .429 with six RBIs.
“It felt great, I got all of that one,” Plourde said. “In my first at-bat I kind of rolled over on a fast ball and after that I figured they were going to attack me with the same pitch and I put a real good swing on it.”
Plourde's shot was it for the offense for Torrington, but not for the chances.
The Titans threatened again in the fourth as the first two batters after Plourde reached base before Matt Cianci (Fordham) grounded into a double play and Ryan Zielinski (Castleton State) flew out to center.
Instead of a really big inning and putting the Dirt Dawgs on their heels, it was just a one-run game.
“We were looking for the big inning, I kind of messed that up,” Dworkin said. “I gave Matt a bunt sign and then took it off. You always want that big inning, try and put a seven-spot up on the board, that's always the goal. But sometimes you have to realize its going to be a tight, one-run game.”
It was a tight game the rest of the way and the Dirt Dawgs swung it in their favor thanks to Shane Keddy (Assumption).
Torrington starting pitcher Jordan Scheiner (Colby Sawyer) didn't have his most effective knuckleball going, but he had been able to keep Wachusett off balance through the first four innings. He got the first two batters out in the fifth before Ross Julian (Brown) singled and Keddy followed with a homer.
A knuckleball that didn't knuckle turned the game as Keddy pounded it over the fence in left to give the Dirt Dawgs a 3-2 lead.
“That one pitch, I knew when I let it go it was going to stay up,” Scheiner said. “I didn't pitch all that bad considering I hadn't seen live batters in over a month but I definitely could have thrown better.”
Scheiner (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs and four hits with three walks in 4 2/3 innings. The bullpen combo of Alex Moore (Lee University), Raphael Martinez (C.W. Post), Austin Barnes (Hartford) and Travis Landry (Franklin Pierce) combined to allow just two hits over the final 4 1/3 innings to keep the Titans in the game.
Torrington just couldn't break through.
The Titans put a runner on in the fifth and got three walks in the sixth without scoring. Third baseman Jordan Serena (Columbia) was stranded on third in the eighth and the Titans managed to draw four walks in the fourth without scoring a run.
The game ended with the bases loaded and Dirt Dawgs reliever Byran Menduke (Bryant) striking out Devin White (William & Mary).
“We made some mistakes and you can make some mistakes when you score nine, 10 runs,” Dworkin said. “you just can't make them in a tight game. It happens and we'll bounce back.”