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Titans find winning ways in 5-2 victory over Seacoast.

POSTED July 31, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Torrington Titans third baseman, Kyle Murphy seen here earlier this season at Fuessenich Park, drove in three runs on Saturday night as the Titans broke a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 road win over Seacoast. Torrington holds a two game lead over third place Martha's Vineyard with four games to play, all against the Sharks.

Rochester, NH: “It feels good to be on the winning side of the ledger,” Torrington Titans manager Gregg Hunt said after his team broke a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Seacoast Mavericks, “It had been a while.”

For a team that has lost a substantial amount of their offensive firepower for various reasons down the stretch in their inaugural season in the FCBL, getting a win at this stage can’t be understated.

With four games to play, Torrington stands alone in second place behind Nashua, who clinched a playoff berth with a 11-3 win over Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday night.

The Silver Knights helped the Titans cause by pushing the Sharks back to a full two games behind Torrington with four crucial, last playoff spot deciding games in the next four days.

On Sunday, the two teams will do battle on the Vineyard before returning to Torrington on Monday for the Titans final regular season home game.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the bus will be parked on the Island for the final two games of the FCBL regular season.

With a two-game lead over the Sharks, a split of the four games would get the Titans the second and final playoff spot.

If the Sharks sweep, their in and Torrington’s season is over. A three of four by the Sharks would create a tie and it has yet to be determined if a head-to-head match-up would decide the winner or if a play-in game would be required.

On Sunday, Housatonic Valley High School graduate Bobby Chatfield, will take the hill, looking for his second win of the year.

On Saturday night, the Titans got five quality innings from Avon Old Farms graduate, Joey Donino, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery.

The five innings marked a season high for Doninio who allowed just an un-earned run on a single hit. He walked two and struck out five.

“Joey has a great arm,” Hunt said, “When he throws strikes, he is hard to beat.”

Tyler Wilson picked up his fourth win of the year in relief of Donino, working three innings.

Wilson (4-1) allowed a run on four hits and picked up his fourth win in his last five appearances.

Torrington got most of their offense from a player who has been hot both on the infield and at the plate.

Kyle Murphy went 2-5 with a run scored and three driven in for the Titans, giving him five RBI’s in his last six games.

“We knew when we got Murphy that when he was hot, he could carry us and make our offense real effective,” Hunt said, “That was when we had our full offense.”

Over the past week, the Titans lost their leading hitter, shortstop Josh Simms (returned home due to a death in the family), right fielder Thomas Richards (injury) and saw first baseman Andrew Spleth miss the last five games after being hit in the head with a bad-hop grounder on July 24.

Two pitchers, Evan Chamberlain and Matt O’Neill, have batted in the eighth and ninth positions most of the week.

Both have started to contribute.

O’Neill hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning on saturday night and it turned out to be the game winner and has three hits, a run scored and a double to his credit.

Chamberlain hit a ball almost 350 feet to right center on Saturday night that was caught against the wall by a Seacoast outfielder and has two hits to date.

To boot, closer Jerin Spikes, who was perfect 9-for-9 in save chances, had to return to school this week.

While the Titans may have looked down for the count after the past week of losing, it’s amazing what one win can do for a teams outlook.

NOTES: On Monday, Tyler Erickson (3-3, 2.14 ERA) will take the hill at Fuessenich Park while Connor McMahon (3-2. 3.33 ERA) takes the ball on Tuesday night. The Wednesday night starter is a TBD at the moment, depending on how the race stands after action on Tuesday.

Either way, the first FCBL best of three championship series will begin on Friday, August 5 with the site and times to be determined.

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