Dierke, Plourde help Titans snap losing streak with 6-0 win over Dirt Dawgs.
WACHUSETT, MA: When you have the kind of pitching staff that Torrington Titans manager Misha Dworken has at his disposal, losing streaks are sure to be broken in fairly short order.
The Titans went into action on Tuesday night in Wachusett with a four-game skid, their longest of the year but got another great start from Tyler Dierke and a timely grand slam from their best hitter, Ryan Plourde in a 6-0 win over the Dirt Dawgs.
“We lost a couple of tough games.” Dworken said. “We blew a safe the night after our closer broke his jaw for one. Monday night, Alec Palioca pitches a gem but we have two runners thrown out at the plate. When you have a Tyler Dierke throwing the next night, you have a great chance to win that game.”
Dierke and Palioca have combined to post a 5-2 record with a ridiculous .097 ERA in 52.1 innings in which they have fanned 52 batters.
The duo ranks in the top echelon of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League for certain, no team other than the Nashua Silver Knights (Chris Good and Alek Morency with a combined 6-0 record and .059 ERA) even come close.
Palioca was named the FCBL Pitcher of the Month for June in recognition of his efforts on the mound for Torrington.
What has hurt the Titans during the slide was an offense missing most of their big guns including Torrington native Conor Bierfeldt who has been sidelined since last week with a back issue.
Add to that mix a bad bruise from a foul off his ankle by Rich Graef, who had been driving in runs from the bottom of the lineup until he went down on the same night closer Austin Bailey was hit in the face with a foul ball in the dugout.
The good news? All three should be back real soon.
Bierfeldt and Graef should be back for the Titans double header at Martha’s Vineyard while Bailey is set to return on Friday when the Titans return home to take on the Dirt Dawgs at Fuessenich Park.
What can you say though about Plourde, who has simply been unstoppable most of this season.
A .391 batting average in 19 games so far. 3 home runs, 23 RBI’s, 25 hits, 14 runs scored a .451 on base percentage and a .656 slugging mark.
Add five stolen bases and just seven strikeouts to the mix and you have yourself one heck of a month.
On Tuesday night, Plourde went 3 for 5 with the four RBI’s and a run scored.
Dierke threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball, extending his scoreless streak to 15.2 innings.
Travis Landry, who is settling into his role in middle relief, tossed 1.1 scoreless frames after Dierke completed his night and Michael Joseph wrapped things up with a scoreless ninth.
The Titans did not commit an error on Tuesday night, another plus.
“Defense, speed and good pitching are things that should not go in a slump.” Dworken said. “With the starters we have to throw at people night after night, we will keep other teams worrying every game.”
Wednesday brings the Tri-State/Titans All-Star exhibition which includes a public (3 p.m.) and regular Home Run Derby (4:15 p.m.) followed by the game between the Titans and Tri-State All-Stars at 7:05 p.m.