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Titans explode late, beat Nashua 13-6. A story by Gary Robinson.

POSTED June 14, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Aaron Nardone of the Torrington Titans, slides in safely with a triple during his team three-run sixth inning. Nardone drove in three runs in the game as his team came all the way back from a 5-0 deficit to win going away at 13-6. (Photo by Jen Royals)

Offensive Explosion in Seventh Lifts Titans

TORRINGTON-On Monday, an eight-run seventh inning helped lift the Torrington Titans over the Nashua Silver Knights 13-6.

In the first inning the Silver Knights let it be known that they were going to be aggressive on the base paths. Second baseman Logan Gillis reached with a walk and wasted no time stealing second base. The Knights finished the game with six stolen bases and were caught stealing only twice.

The second inning was lead off by Nashua’s Kyle Neverman who took the first pitch he saw from Torrington’s starter Andrew Lablanc over the left field fence. The Knights went up 1-0 and the home run acted as a spark plug for Nashua as they tacked on three more runs in the third inning. Despite being down 5-0, the Titans were not down for the count.

“We kept our heads up,” said Torrington’s left fielder Aaron Nardone. “In the dugout everybody was still up.”

The Titans were held hit-less through three innings due to great pitching by Nashua’s Jordan Wylie. However, this was quickly changed in the fourth inning when Torrington’s Josh Simms (2-4 with 3 runs) ripped a solo home run.

In the sixth, Gillis reached again on a walk and wreaked havoc on the base paths. He stole second base and then stole home on a double steal. With the lead now back up to five runs the Titans desperately needed to string something together.

Simms started the sixth inning for Torrington with a base hit. He was knocked in by a double from first baseman Andrew Spleth. Up next was third baseman Kyle Murphy (3-3 with 2 RBI and 2 runs) who shot a hit through the infield, scoring Spleth on the play. The home crowd was now alive as Nardone, whose birthday was on Sunday, stepped to the plate. With a one-one count the Titan’s left fielder got a ball he could drive and ripped a triple that scored Murphy. The fans were now on their feet, willing their beloved Titans on as they battled back from a 5-0 deficit and brought themselves within two runs.

“It’s always good to hear people cheering your name,” said Nardone. “It’s a lot better than hearing nothing.”

The Silver Knights were up 6-4 as the game went into seventh inning, but that would be the last time the lead was in their possession.

In the seventh Torrington’s Jacob Hunter reached safely on an infield hit. Lead-off man Rich Graef showed off his speed as he laid down a beautiful drag bunt. Simms was the next man up and he drew a based-on-ball that loaded the bases for Spleth. He sent a single through the left side of the infield that scored Hunter and Graef. The excitement in Fuessinich Park was building as fans broke out in a “Let’s go Titans” chant. There were now runners on first and second with the score tied at 6-6. Next to the dish was DH Ryan Plourde who drew a walk that loaded the bases back up for Murphy who ripped a two run single to the outfield. The Titans tacked on four more runs in the seventh as they pushed across of total of eight runs that inning.

“We were a little tense at first because they had already beaten us once,” said Simms. “Once one hitter starts hitting, it’s contagious.”

The Silver Knights looked deflated after the monster seventh inning by the Titans and never recovered. Torrington’s Tyler Erickson closed out the game as the Titans came out with a 13-6 victory.

“We’ve been struggling with the bats recently,” said Titan’s head coach Gregg Hunt. “We just need to remember what this feels like.”

The Torrington Titans (2-2) are now tied for second place in the FCBL with the Nashua Silver Knights (2-2). On Tuesday the Titans travel to Martha’s Vineyard where they will take on the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks at 5:00 pm.




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