Print this story

Raiders baseball falls for the first time, 4-0 to Oxford.

POSTED April 28, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Oxford pitcher Matt Gramesty handed the Torrington Raiders their first loss of the season in a 4-0 Wolverines win on Monday afternoon at Fuessenich Park. Gramesty allowed just three hits.

TORRINGTON: It’s real hard to win them all.

After starting their 2015 campaign perfect at 8-0, the Torrington baseball team ran into something they had not seen all year: a hot pitcher.

Oxford junior hurler, Matt Gramesty pitched a complete game, three hitter as the Wolverines sent the Raiders home with an “L” for the first time this year.

“He did an amazing job,” Oxford head coach Brian Hourigan said, “He threw strikes. We knew they were a great hitting team and he threw strikes and pitched to our defense. He mixed his pitches well and our catcher (John Yish) called a great game. He gave us the shot in the arm that we needed to stay in the game.”

The season had been a hitting free for all for the Raiders coming in. They had scored 96 runs in during their hot beginning but on a cool windy day at Fuessenich Park, Gramesty mixed his pitches well and never let the Raiders bats get on track.

Oxford scored a pair of runs in the third and seventh innings and with the way their junior was throwing, one may have been enough.

The home team put two runners on in the first inning on walks to Dom Sabia and Ben Bonvicini but got out of the jam by striking out Manny Rijo.

In the bottom of the fourth, Sabia (infield hit) and Bonvicini (hard single to right) put two on with no out but Gramesty struck out Rijo for a second time and induced a 6-3 double play of the bat of Kobe Covington to end the threat.

The Wolverines defense, a handicap at times this season for Hourigan, was superb when they needed to be on Monday with outstanding plays by Jared Keller on a diving snag of a foul fly to right by Tyler Troth, who started and took the loss for Torrington.

Troth pitched well, giving up just two runs on eight hits over six innings.

Oxford got on the board in the top of the third and played good, fundamental baseball in grabbing the 2-0 lead.

After a terrific bunt for a base hit by centerfielder Adam Baktis, short stop Dale Keller walked. Troth got the first out on a strikeout before Jared Keller sacrificed both runners into scoring position with a great bunt of his own.

Designated hitter Andrew Cuomo then drilled a two-run double to the base of the wall in right centerfield as Maktis and Keller scored.  

Sometimes you can just sense it’s not going to go your way and the Raiders found themselves staring straight into that fact in their half of the sixth inning.

Jason Vinisko connected for a line single to lead off the inning, bringing up the big guns for Torrington, Sabia, Bonvicini and Rijo.

Sabia sent a hard liner down the first base line but first basemen Tim Stordy snared the line drive a half a step off the bag. Vinisko had no chance and was double up.

It looked as if the Raiders had a line on Gramesty as the innings grew short but the Oxford defense had different ideas.

Baktis made a diving catch on a blast off the bat of Bonvicini in center that certainly looked like a hit but fell into the category of just not the Raiders day.

Torrington (8-1) caught a break on Monday though. Watertown (7-2) also lost (1-0 to Derby) so they still have a one game lead as they get set to throw Vinisko against the Indians when they visit Watertown on Wednesday.

“It’s a long season,” Raiders head coach Pat Richardson said, “We’ll take the wins as they come. Streaks are nice but they’re called streaks for a reason. We’ll keep battling and our character will be shown during adversity. It’s good to get tested, we’ll see this during the tournament.”

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here