Titans sweep Sharks. Richards throw no-no in game one...
TORRINGTON: When they needed it the most, the Torrington Titans finally beat the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.
After losing their first four meetings with the Sharks, Torrington faced a daunting task of having to beating a foe who has had their number this past season.
Beat the Sharks they did.
Twice as a matter of fact with a no-hitter in one game and a three-run rally in the nightcap to pull of 4-0 and 6-4 victories while putting themselves in a better spot in the hunt for one of the last two playoff spots in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
In the opener, Derek Richards (Babson) pitched the second no-hitter in FCBL history (the Titans also own the first, by Conor Bierfeldt in 2011) and the Titans used a pair of two-run home runs to come out on the better end of a 4-0 win.
Pitching has been the saving grace of this team and Richards proved himself to be amongst the best in the FCBL on Monday night as he won his sixth game against three losses and lowered his ERA to 3.31.
Richards has been a workhorse, piling up 54.1 innings this summer and joins Tyler Dierke (7-1) as one of only three pitchers in Titans history to win at least six games (Gavin McCullough in 2011).
In the opener, Torrington scored all their runs in their half of the third and a pair of two-run shots, one by Conor Bierfeldt (Western CT) and the second two batters later by Kevin Lum (Cameron College).
Richards was in control on the hill, not allowing the Sharks to put more than one base runner on in any inning despite giving up four walks.
In the nightcap, Torrington native Patrick Austin made his first start for the Titans and was strong through three innings until he ran into trouble in the fourth.
A walk and two perfectly executed bunt singles loaded the bases with none out with the home team up 2-1.
Travis Landry took over for Austin and got a double play ball that scored one run to knot things at two but got out of the jam without any further damage.
Game two became a back and forth affair with three lead changes in an inning and a half.
Torrington went up 3-2 on a Gus Craig single in the bottom of the frame but the Sharks answered back with a two-run home run by Matt Moore of Titans reliever Alec Moore and led 4-3.
A spilt did nothing for the Titans, it was time to dig deep and they did in their half of the fifth when they took the lead for good.
Ryan Plourde led off with a walk which was followed up with a free pass to Kyle Decker.
After Lum struck out trying to bunt the runners over, Adam Claire singled to short left, loading the bases.
Jordan Serena worked a walk to plate one run and tie the game again at four all.
Rich Graef then hit a grounder between short and third in no-man’s land that scored another run but got Claire as he rounded third for the second out.
Graef and Serena worked the double steal with runners on first and third to perfection with Ryan Zielinski at the plate.
Graef took off towards second but stopped to get in a run down.
Matt Doyle, the Sharks ace, ran towards Graef but threw the ball into the ground when he attempted to get the Titans centerfielder at first.
Those couple of second proved to be just enough for Serena to sneak home and beat the throw for the games final run.
Moore, appearing in his last game before returning to school, settled down and retired the side in the top of the sixth and got the win.
Michael Joseph worked a perfect ninth to send the 1236 Titans fans home with hope of another home game in 2012.
Time and a busy schedule will tell.Torrington travels to Nashua on Wednesday for a double-header against the Silver Knights.