Titans look for winning streak......
TORRINGTON: It hasn’t been the easiest of starts for the Torrington Titans during this spring of weather discontent.
Pretty hard to get anything going when the skies open up on a regular basis and send the best made plans of managers and players floating down the Naugatuck River behind the outfield fence at Fuessenich Park.
Going into action on Thursday night, the Titans find themselves in eighth place in the nine team Futures Collegiate Baseball League standings with a 2-5 record.
A year ago after seven games, Torrington sported a 4-3 record on their way to a 29-22 overall mark and a spot in the playoffs for the second straight year.
What’s happened so far this year?
It goes back to the last couple of weeks before the players began to report for the 2013 season.
“We lost our numbers two, three and four starter’s right before we got here.” Manager Misha Dworken said. “We had to move a couple of guys around after that.”
Pitching was the name of the game for the Titans a year ago with standouts Tyler Dierke (7-1, 0.61), Alec Palioca (5-2, 1.07) and Derek Richards (6-3, 3.31) giving Torrington one of the best staffs in the FCBL in 2012.
The 2013 team was built looking for more offense and the same strong effort on the mound that works so well in a wood bat league after a spring of aluminum for the batters.
In their first three games, the Titans ran into three aces from Wachusett (Nick Filloramo), Pittsfield (Alex Basso) and North Shore (Joe Gruntkosky) and lost all three.
In game four, it was Titan starter Mike Gibbon’s turn to shine and he did with a seven-inning effort that yielded just one run on three hits in a 4-1 win over the Seacoast Mavericks.
Torrington followed up that strong effort with a 5-1 win over the Dirt Dawgs behind 5.2 innings of one hit ball by Nick Fuller (8 K’s).
It looked like a three game winning streak was in progress on Sunday when the team traveled to North Shore and opened up a 5-0 lead midway through the fifth but a stirring comeback by the Navigators helped them pull out a 9-8 win.
Torrington ran into another ace, Pittsfield lefty Aaron Plunkett who gave up just one hit over seven strong inning in a 4-2 Sun win.
At the plate, the Titans are hitting .248 and are led so far by Jake McGuiggan (.375, 3 RBI’s) and Conor Mckay (.276, HR, 4 RBI’s).
As a team, Torrington is striking out at an alarming rate of 10 per game with 70 K’s after seven games.
The defense has been spotty at times with 13 errors in those seven games, many coming at critical junctures in close games leading to eleven unearned runs to date.
On the mound, Fuller (1-0, .93 ERA), Gibbons (1-0, 1.28 ERA) and Connor Landers (0-1, 1.80 ERA) have been shaping into solid starters.
The team ERA stands at a respectable 3.25.
Seven games into the year, the Titans have a bit of a hole to dig out of.
Nothing a five-game winning streak wouldn’t help fill…..