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Titans 2011 campaign kicks off on Thursday night.

POSTED June 10, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Aaron Nardone (freshman, Delaware State) and the 2011 Torrington Titans, came away with a 4-2 win over the Seacoast Mavericks in a game delayed almost three hours by rain on Thursday night. The Titans home opener is scheduled for tonight at Fuessenich Park against the Nashua Silver Knights at 7 p.m.



The wait is over; it’s time for Torrington Titans baseball.

The 2011 campaign gets underway on Thursday night when the Titans hit the road for their season opener against the Seacoast Mavericks at Bert George Field in Rochester, New Hampshire.

A team that looks pitching heavy with a bundle of solid defense manager Gregg Hunt preaches helps kick off the inaugural season of the new Futures League, a four-team league.

The Titans will face off against the Mavericks, the Martha Vineyard Sharks, and the Nashua Silver Knights in a 42-game season which ends in early August.

Torrington kept the Titans in town when the Carminucci Sports Group acquired the team earlier this year and joined the Futures League.

The Carminucci Sports Group also owns the Sharks in Marthas Vineyard along with several other baseball franchises.

Hunt and the Titans will make their Torrington debut on Friday night when they host Nashua at Fuessenich Park at 7 p.m.

General Manager Michael O’Malley has said that the goal of this years team is to compete for the league title from the start and has put together an impressive group of experienced athletes form various colleges.

This year’s team will have a blend of local and national players on the field, including Thomaston’s own Kyle Capaldo, Ryan Plourde from Waterbury and Joe Dinino from Avon to name a few.

Pitchers are usually ahead of the hitters in summer baseball at the start as the hitters move from aluminum bats to the true and unforgiving feel of the wooden bat.

It’s a sorting out process for Hunt each and ever season at this time as he see’s his team for the first time three days before their first game.

The team got together to work on some fundamentals in base running, defense and hitting on Wednesday afternoon at Fuessenich Park.

Former Holy Cross standout Ryan Plourde, who feels right at home in the old ball park from his days with the Crusaders, talked about what it meant to be part of the new Futures League.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting summer,” Plourde said, “I feels great to have a place to play ball where my parents can come up and see me play. I have always felt comfortable here and I think it is going to help me this summer.”

Coach Hunt will start right hander Gavin McCullough, a junior from Fairfield University against the Mavericks on Thursday night with Kevin Bartlett, a sophomore from the University of Albany on Friday in the home opener.

Though it has only been three practices, Hunt has been impressed with what he has seen so far.

“I really like the athletic ability of these guys, “Hunt said, “The outfielder is made up of guys who really seem like they have been taught well. The unknown this time of the year is always the pitching. We will find out over the next few days what we have.”

Around the infield, Andrew Spleth (junior, UNC-Greensboro) will start at first, Jacob Hunter (freshman, Yale) will alternate between second and short with Josh Simms (junior, University of Pacific) while Kyle Murphy will get the start at third.

In the outfield, Rich Graef (sophomore, Umass), Cole Harrison (freshman, UNC Greensboro) and Thomas Richards (freshman, University of Buffalo) will look to cover ground.

Plourde will get the start on opening night but expect to see Steve Ferraro (freshman, Eastern Kentucky) behind the plate at times this season.

Let the games begin!

NOTES: Heavy hearts will fill the stands in New Hampshire after the untimely passing of one of the Mavericks players, Adam Keenan, a junior at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Keenan collapsed after the team’s first workout on Monday night and efforts to revive him at a local hospital were unsuccessful.

“We are shocked and terribly saddened by this tragic event,” said Mavericks owner Dave Hoyt, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Keenan family, Adam’s friends and teammates in this very difficult time.”

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