Titans playoff hopes coming down to the wire
BROCKTON - The Torrington Titans have picked a bad time to have their bats go silent.
In the midst of a wild playoff race that has five teams in the running for three spots, the Titans managed just one run and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Brocton Rox on Sunday.
Brockton (28-23) got two hits, including a home run from Greg Baggett while Vito Perna (1-3) picked up the win, yielding one run and five hits in five innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
Torrington (26-21) starter Jordan Lozzi (2-2) pitched pretty well, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked two.
The Titans are 5-5 in their last 10 and have dropped three of their last four to go from what looked like a lock for the playoffs to a question mark. Torrington has four games left to play and each game is crucial starting with a doubleheader against the Martha's Vineyard Sharks on Monday evening. Torrington has scored just one run in each of its last three losses.
The Titans enter Monday's doubleheader percentage points ahead of the Rox for third place in the FCBL standings. It's beginning to look like the best Torrington can hope for is third place and a first-round meeting with the North Shore Navigators, who have won seven straight.
Torrington would not have home field in that matchup but is 5-1 against North Shore this season and it is a lot better than opening the playoffs in Nashua against the first-place Silver Knights (36-12).
The Pittsfield Suns (26-22) are in fifth, a half game behind the Titans and Rox. Martha's Vineyard (25-23) is another game back in sixth and still in the hunt for the postseason.
Nashua is the only team that has clinched a playoff berth entering Monday and the Titans close out the regular season with a doubleheader against the Silver Knights at Holman Stadium on Wednesday.
The Titans are scheduled to go with Derek Richards (Babson) in game one Monday and then will turn to Torrington's own Pat Austin (UMass-Boston) in game two. Austin, who pitched for the Torrington American Legion P38's this summer, will be making his first start for the Titans.
Richards (5-3) had won three straight starts before a 7-1 loss to Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday. Richards went five innings and allowed two runs and five hits but got no support from the Titans offense. Richards is 0-2 against the Sharks this season.
Austin (0-1) has appeared in four games since signing with the Titans, all in relief.