Yahn, Olmstead help Titans earn home playoff game with win over Mavs
TORRINGTON - With a home playoff game hanging in the balance, Wille Yahn and Taylor Olmstead came through for the Torrington Titans.
Yahn was stellar on the mound in relief and Olmstead jacked a home run in the seventh that proved to be the difference as the Titans edged the Seacoast Mavericks, 7-6, in the FCBL regular-season finale for both teams.
Torrington rallied from an early 5-0 defecit to improve to 28-25 on the season and earn the No. 4 seed in the FCBL playoffs. The Titans will host No. 5 Nashua in a one-game playoff on Saturday with the winner moving on to a three-game series in the semifinal round.
"It's awesome," Titans coach Dan McNamara said. "This team has really come together and is a great group. The comraderie has been there all season and to get to the playoffs in my first year here feels really good."
The Titans already knew they were in the postseason entering Friday night's game but they didn't know where they would be playing. It looked like a trip up to Holman Stadium was in their future as the Mavericks scored four runs in the first inning and tacked on one more in the second for a 5-0 lead.
Fortunately for the Titans it was early. Jack St. Clair had an RBI double and scored in the third inning and the Titans added two more in the fourth to cut the defecit to 5-4. Torrington battled back to take the lead with another pair of runs in the sixth but Seacoast answered with a run and the game was tied, 6-6, after six.
Yahn, who came on in relief in the fourth, struck out two in the seventh inning and Olmstead started the home half of the inning by crushing the first pitch he saw deep into the night over the fence in left center.
"I went up there sitting on a first-pitch fastball," Olmstead said. "I was thinking fastball and I got one and was able to put a good swing on it. Fortunatley it went over the fence and gave us the lead."
Given the lead again, Yahn closed things out by retiring the side in order in the eighth and ninth.
"Willie has been like that all season," McNamara said. "He goes out there and just shoves. He has a great presence about him when he pitches and he did a great job when we needed him tonight."
Now the Titans are back in the postseason and appear to be just about as dangerous as any other FCBL team in the playoffs.
"I like where we are as a team and how we are set up," McNamara said. "This team just never quits, it has been that way all season and now we have to keep it going."