Titans sweep Bravehearts, still in hunt for postseason.
TORRINGTON: This back to the wall baseball is kind of working for the Torrington Titans at the moment.
Wednesday night, the Titans were down three runs and just seven outs from being eliminated from the Futures Collegiate Baseball League post season before they rallied against the team they are chasing, the Bristol Blues.
After chipping away to just a two-run deficit, the Titans scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to stay alive with a 5-4 win.
Carry things forward to Thursday night and the never-say-die kids were at it again in a twin bill against the team that had beaten them six straight times during the regular season, the Western Division Champion Bravehearts.
The home team continued their improbable run to stay alive with a double header sweep of the Bravehearts, 1-0 and 5-4 in eight innings to move within one half game of the Blues with two games to play. The Blues lost twice on Thursday, 5-4 in a regulation contest after dropping a 5-4 decision of a suspended game that went 21 innings.
With absolutely no room for error in the opener, the Titans got a stellar pitching performance from a player who spent most of the summer just a few pitches away from being terrific but hadn’t had much to show for it.
Connor Lewis entered the first game with a 1-3 mark with a 5.84 ERA but was brilliant against Worcester, allowing just four hits while striking out nine. Lewis did not walk a batter and needed just 86 pitches (62 strikes) to hold the number one team in the FCBL scoreless.
“I was just able to locate my fastball today,” Lewis said, “It’s a big part of my success, being able to paint the corners and be down in the zone with my fastball, something I haven’t been able to do recently. Today I was also able to get my change-up over the plate and down in the zone, something I had not been doing.”
Everything he was doing on Thursday afternoon was working, as was his defense, which has been a liability most of the summer with 71 errors in 50 games.
Lewis was the beneficiary of a pair of double plays, one in the third inning which he started, the second when third basemen Mike Kochiss snared a hot line drive with a runner on first and was able to throw back to first to end another threat in the top of the sixth.
The home team pushed across the only run they would need in the bottom of the sixth off a sacrifice fly by Mike Kochiss that scored pinch runner Wes Robertson from third.
In the night cap, the comeback syndrome continued as the home team rallied from down three on a three-run home run off the bat of Brian Ginsberg that knotted things at four.
The game would go extras until the Titans scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning for the sweep.
As unlikely as this scenario seemed just 30 hours ago, the post season is still in play for Torrington who sit with a 22-29 record while the Blues hold that half-game lead thanks to their 23-29 mark.
The Titans travel to face Brockton (27-27) on Friday while the Blues go to Nashua (32-20) before meeting back at Fuessenich Park on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Can the magic continue? Stay tuned.