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Titan hold off Seacoast 4-3. Story by Gary Robinson.

POSTED July 22, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

The Fairfield University connection at work. Catcher Ryan Plourde and pitcher Gavin McCullough, talk after an inning during the Torrington Titans 4-3 win over Seacoast on Thursday night at Fuessenich Park. McCullough pitched six strong innings but got a no-decision. Joey Donino got the win while Jerin Spikes earned his ninth save in nine chances this summer.

TORRINGTON-The Torrington Titans managed to capture a 4-3 victory, fighting off the sweltering heat and a late inning rally from the Sea Coast Mavericks.

During this humid night, where the temperature hovered around 80 degrees, it was only fitting to have the Titan’s hottest pitcher throwing on the mound.

Gavin McCullough has been on fire with a 1.41 ERA and a 6-0 record, with four of those wins coming against the Mavericks.

McCullough got off to a rocky start as the first three out of four Maverick hitters reached on base hits. With one out and the bases loaded, he did what he has done all year, he battled back and struck out the next two hitters.

On the offensive side, the Titans were ripping the ball off of Sea Coast’s starter Joan Matos; however they were finding the defender’s gloves instead of grass.

“It was the night of the at-em-balls,” said Titan’s head coach Gregg Hunt.

The first runs of the game came in the third inning when Titan’s right fielder Thomas Richards smashed a two-run home-run over the right field fence.

Richards was followed up by a single from Cole Harrison (2-4, run). Rich Graef dropped a magnificent drag bunt down the first base line and Josh Band also laid down a bunt and managed to reach on an error by the first baseman Davidson Peguero.

With the bases loaded and no outs, shortstop Josh Simms roped a single, scoring Harrison from third. That was all the Titans would produce in the inning as the next three batters were retired.

The Mavericks finally got on the board when designated hitter Cole Tobin lined a homerun over the 310 foot sign in left. Next up, Keegan Pafford reached on a double and was eventually knocked home by centerfielder Ryan Toimil.

That would be the last inning of work for McCullough as he threw six innings, allowing two runs and fanning seven.

The Titan’s lead was now 3-2 and the Mavericks were not letting up.

In the eighth inning, Maverick’s Eric Labatte reached first after a strike-three pitch was not handled properly by Torrington’s catcher Ryan Plourde. A wild pitch by relief pitcher Jon Donino allowed Labatte move up to second.

A slow dribbling groundball, which looked like out number three, to second baseman Band scooted by him into right field, allowing for the tying run to cross the plate.

Harrison led off the bottom half of the eighth with a base hit. Graef, who is known as a good bunter, struck out as he failed to move Harrison over to second. Band was the next batter. He grounded into what looked like an inning ending double play, until Harrison broke up the double play, causing a wild throw from Sea Coast shortstop Dani VIncente.

Band, the go ahead run, was now standing on second with one out in the inning.

Up came the Titan’s best hitter, Josh Simms. He managed to get a ball he liked and lined a triple down the right field line, scoring the eventual winning run.

In the ninth, Jaren Spikes came in and got his ninth save of the season as he got Seacoast’s clean-up hitter, Casey Cotter, to line into a game-ending double play.

“We just keep making plays when we need to make plays,” said Harrison

The Titans are now 12-0 against the Sea Coast Mavericks (6-29) on the season. Despite having an undefeated record, each game between these two teams seems to have been decided in the latter innings.

“We could very easily be 6-6 against these guys,” said Titan’s head coach Gregg Hunt.

With this victory and Nashua (21-13) losing to Martha’s Vineyard (18-14), Torrington (21-10) keeps sole possession of first place on top of the FCBL. The Titans will travel to Martha’s Vineyard on Friday where they will be taking on the Sharks in a 5pm game.


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