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2011 Year in Review. August 8. Titans ride arm of Erickson to 1-0 win over Sharks. Story by Gary Robinson.

POSTED December 29, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON- A 1-0 win on Monday night against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks put the Torrington Titans one win away from clinching the final spot in the FCBL playoffs.

The Titans and Sharks will face off in the final two games of the 2011 season on Tuesday and Wednesday night in Martha’s Vineyard.

If the Titans are victorious on either day, they will earn the chance to take on the Nashua Silver Knights for the FCBL championship.

On the other hand, if the Sharks win on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the final post-season spot will be decided by a play-in game between Torrington and Martha’s Vineyard.

“We put all the pressure on them,” said Torrington’s manager Gregg Hunt. “We don’t want to have to play a play-in game.”

Monday night’s game was pretty much a must-win for the Titans so every player needed to bring their A game: pitcher Tyler Erikson did just that.

Erikson went the distance, holding Martha’s Vineyard’s offense in check the entire game. He allowed just two hits while striking out 14.

“Tyler has been a big game pitcher for us all year,” said Hunt. “Every young pitcher should watch his pitch-manship on the mound.”

The only scare Erikson had with the Sharks was in the eighth inning.

Martha’s Vineyard’s Max Goodman roped a line drive in right fielder Cole Harrison’s direction. He misjudged the ball, allowing it to roll past him.

Torrington’s center fielder Rich Graef came over to scoop up the misplayed ball and hurled it into the infield.

When the play was over, Goodman was standing on third, and the Sharks were threatening.

Erikson got the following hitter to ground out to second for the first out of the inning.

The next batter, Tad Gold, reached as he was hit by a pitch. This put the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first for one of Martha’s Vineyard’s best hitters, Robbie Zinsmeister.

With a 1-1 count, Zinsmeister grounded a ball to shortstop Ryan Sonberg, who flipped the ball with his glove to second baseman Josh Band, who fired it to first for the inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

With the Shark’s bats held silent, all Torrington needed to do was produce some runs; which have been hard to come by over the past few games.

The Titans struggled in the first two innings against the Shark’s starting pitcher Adam Cherry, however managed to produce some offense in the third.

Torrington’s Cole Harrison (2-3 run) started off the inning by whacking a double down the right field line. Another double followed as first baseman Matt O’Neill smashed the ball into the gap, scoring the only run of the game

A playoff spot is at stake as the two teams see each other in Martha’s Vineyard at 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday night. A win by the Torrington Titans (25-17) earns them a playoff berth, while two wins by the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (23-19) forces a play-in game.

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