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Titans ride arm of McCullough, bat of Simms to 2-0 win over Seacoast.

POSTED July 17, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Gavin McCullough of the Torrington Titans, delivers a pitch during the seventh inning of his teams 2-0 win over Seacoast. The righty from Fairfield University improves to 6-0 with a 1.16 ERA in one special summer of 2011. Torrington improves to 17-8 with the win.

Torrington: When the Torrington Titans picked up Gavin McCullough from Fairfield University, they were happy to get the junior from Stamford, CT but didn’t really know what to expect.

After all, McCullough had posted a 1-3 record in five starts for the Stags with a 4.93 ERA, nothing spectacular.

Since his arrival at Fuessenich Park though, McCullough has been nothing less than spectacular.

Take a look at the stats. A 6-0 record with a remarkable 1.16 ERA in six starts.

His latest, a 2-0 win over the Seacoast Mavericks, was pure McCullough.

A workman like effort that started with control issues in the first (two walks) got better as the game went on.

He would end the night after eight innings when the home team would finally break through against Seacoast hard luck starter, Kyle Davis, who was matching zero’s with Torrington’s ace until the bottom of the eighth.

With two outs and runners on second and third, Josh Simms (2-4, 2 RBI) drove in both with a single for the 2-0 lead.

Simms has been on an absolute tear of late with a .346 batting average, good for fourth place in the FCBL.

He has had a seven game hitting streak and has been scoring runs even on nights he has not scored.

Simms and left fielder Cole Harrison had kept the visitors off the board with two stellar defensive plays in the top of the frame.

Harrison gunned down a runner at the plate while Simms lunged to his left to snag a grounder ticketed for center, getting the inning ending force out.

Evan Chamberlain bounced back from two tough outings in his last two appearances to pitch a perfect ninth for his first save of the summer.

The win keeps the Titans (17-8) in a statistical tie with the Nashua Silver Knights (18-9) who also won on Friday night (7-3 over Martha’s Vineyard).

The two collide in Torrington on Saturday night then play a game and a half on Sunday in New Hampshire.

The Sunday game will first see the two teams finish a game that was suspended earlier this summer before playing the regularly scheduled game.

Three games in two days between the top two teams in the FCBL could go a long way towards determining the squads fate as each tries to make the playoffs.

Only the top two teams will make the post-season. The Sharks are 12-13 and in the midst of a four game losing streak while the Mavericks sport a 6-23 mark but are in position to play spoiler as the summer wraps up.

The Titans and Silver Knights face each other just two more times after this weekend in the regular season meaning they need to make hay when they can.

On Saturday night, Tyler Erickson (2-2, 2.32 ERA) will take the hill in hopes of duplicating the effort he put forth against the Silver Knights on July 3 when he lost in the bottom of the ninth on a wild throw to first that scored the tying and winnings runs in a 3-2 loss.

Manager Gregg Hunt has been impressed with his teams ability to seize the moment when it has been presented to them.

“We don’t want to look back at games earlier in the summer and regret what we didn’t do,” Hunt said, “This team comes in and works hard every time they take the field.”

Their 17-8 mark is proof positive that this group is trying to leave their mark in the opening season of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

NOTES: After Saturday nights game, a wrestling spectacular will take place on the field at the Big Ballpark.

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