Watertown's own Nick Mondak leads Titans to 6-5 win over Wachusett.
TORRINGTON: If Nick Mondak was nervous, his manager sure couldn’t tell.
Who could have blamed the just graduated Watertown High School hard throwing lefty if he had some butterflies as he started his first game for the Torrington Titans against guys with at least a season of playing time under their belts coming in?
“He was completely unfazed,” manager Dante Palazzo said. “He warmed up unfazed and even during his pre-game he was just relaxed.”
The Titans first year head coach then laid some serious high praise on his newest starting pitcher.
“He reminds me of Glavine,” Palazzo said. “Tommy Glavine, a silent killer.”
The water mark has been set pretty high for this young man as he was compared to a guy who won 305 major league games and is a Hall of Fame pitcher but off of start number one at the next level, Mondak did not disappoint.
His first pitch? A strike, just like the next two and he had recorded his first strikeout on just three pitches.
Mondak would complete six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out 10 as his team earned a much needed 6-5 win over the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, ending a six game losing streak.
The St John’s bound lefty allowed baserunners in five of the six innings he completed but allowed just single runs in the fourth and sixth before giving way to the Titans bullpen which bent but didn’t break over the final three innings.
Gus Culpo (University of Pittsburgh), just picked up by the team this week, closed out the game by striking out two of the three batters he faced with some serious heat that might just land him in the closer spot if he keeps dealing as he did Wednesday night.
Torrington used three doubles in their half of the fourth inning to take the lead after the Dawgs had plated a run in their half of the frame on a RBI double by designated hitter Rubert House.
Mikey Arman laced a double to left center with one out and came around to score on a long double to dead center by Mike Foley.
One batter later, Titans back stop Mike DeMartino launched an RBI two-bagger to right center for the lead the home team would never give back. DeMartino would add a long home run, over the 360 mark in left center field in the sixth inning as well.
The Titans would add three runs in their half of the sixth, with the help of a three errors in the inning by Dirt Dawg defenders.
On the craziest play of the game, Titans second basemen Jose Negron put down what should have been a perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line with runners on first and second that was thrown away past third by Wachusett first basemen Justin Sleigh, allowing both runners to score.
Negron himself was thrown out trying to go all the way to third but the damage was done and after the dust settled, the Titans held a 5-1 lead.
Mondak gave up a leadoff double to Grant Hoover to start the sixth but Palazzo stayed with his new arm and the lefty rewarded his manager’s trust by escaping the inning allowing just one run. He ended his night with a swinging strikeout, number 10 of the night.
Torrington improves to 4-8 on the year and with the season a fifth of the way over, Palazzo is not looking too far ahead.
‘We are looking to get back to the .500 mark first,” Palazzo said. “After 20 games, let’s see where we are. We are playing every game now like it’s the seventh game of the World Series.”
The Titans are back in action on Thursday night when they host the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks at 7 p.m.