Titans keep playoff hopes alive with critical comeback win over Bristol, 5-4.
TORRINGTON: Given their history this season, when the Torrington Titans found themselves down 4-1 to the Bristol Blues late in a game they had to win to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, it didn’t look good.
This had not been a team that had mounted a single late inning rally all year and was down to their final nine outs of the year when the bottom of the seventh began.
On Wednesday night though, the Titans found a way by scoring a single run in the bottom of the seventh and three more in the bottom of the eighth to come away with the playoff saving 5-4 victory.
Brian Ginsburg was one of the heroes in this one, sending a grounder up the middle with runners on second and third and two outs to knot things at four. He drove in three of the Titans five runs.
Griffin Garabedian then plated Ginsburg (who had taken second on the throw to the plate) for the eventual game winner.
Ginsburg’s manager took him at his word after he expressed how he felt, pre-game.
“Brian felt confident today,” manager Zack LaRosa said. “He felt good in batting practice, he took three phenomenal rounds. He said to us that he felt good today, before the game even started. He got a base hit earlier to drive in a run and he came through in a big spot.”
Nick Williams got the win, throwing two scoreless innings out of the bull pen.
The top six teams in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League make the playoffs. The two top seeds, the division winners (Worcester and Seacoast) get a bye in the opening round of the playoffs, which start next week.
The four teams with the overall best records make up the final four and at start of action Wednesday, the Titans trailed the Blues for the sixth and final spot in the post season.
Torrington was 3.5 games behind with just four to play after Wednesday night so a loss would have ended any home the Titans had to keep playing into the second week of August.
While the oxygen supply for the team have been replenished for the moment, four more games over the next three games still remain.
Torrington hosts the Western Division champions on Thursday in a double header that starts at 4 p.m. Two, seven inning games will be played. On Friday, they travel to Brockton to take on the Rox before ending the regular season at home Saturday against these same Blues.
Defense was the name of the game early in this one as both teams turned in sterling individual efforts that saved runs.
Nick Lamberti saved three, maybe four runs with a leaping grab of a ball hit off the bat of shortstop Tyler Roberts that may have gone for a grand slam if not for the outstanding grab.
First year sensation Nick Mondak was the beneficiary of the Lamberti catch and while he struggled over four innings, he kept his team close at 2-1 after four.
In the home teams half of the fifth, the Titans got a single from Garabedian and a hit and run single from Lamberti to put runners on the corner with two outs.
Tyler Kochiss lifted a fly ball to medium right field that Brandon Grover made the catch on and then threw a strike to the plate to nail Garabedian, ending the threat.
Lamberti would also make a diving catch on a rocked hit to left by Liam Scafariello in the fifth.
The Blues would plate a pair off of Tyler Kovalewich to go up by three, setting the stage for an unlikely but certainly timely comeback win.