TORRINGTON >> Torrington Sports Palace gambled on the weather and won twice in a 7-3 sweep of the weather and the NWCT Orioles in a Connie Mack game at Fuessenich Park Monday night.
The weather did its own thing with rain and spectacular skies; Torrington’s win on the field was a combination of good pitching and lots more luck courtesy of NWCT gifts.
“We left too many runs on base and we gave away too many,” said Oriole Coach Anthony O’Niel.
Just three of the Torrington runs were earned off Oriole pitcher Anthony Robarge, throwing far better than he got (6 innings, 3 earned runs, 5 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 hit batter).
The rest came on seven errors and a few wild pitches on a night when the ball stayed slick.
Neverthless, it was slippery for both sides and, while the Orioles out-hit Torrington 9-5, Sports Palace came up big on defense with just three errors and gutsy pitching by Brian Bassler and Nick Santillo.
Torrington started out hitting hard, with a walk to D.J. Reynolds (2 runs), single by Marcus Bloom (2 runs) and two-run double by Kobe Covington in the first inning.
Then, while Bassler kept NWCT off-balance, Torrington hits slowed to a trickle and the gifts poured in.
Four Oriole errors and a hit batter scored three Torrington runs on no hits in the third inning. Hits by Paul Cisowski (run) and Reynolds (RBI) combined with a walk and two errors for two more in the fourth.
Meanwhile, in the top of the third inning, NWCT got to Bassler for four hits – by Alex Bernadi (2-for-3, double, 2 runs); Ayden Zucco (3-for-3, RBI); Sam Foley (RBI); and Sam Hurlbert (2-for-4, RBI) – but managed just one run.
In the fifth, a Torrington error and hits by Bernadi and Zucco chased Bassler with the bases loaded, one out.
With a run already in, Nick Santillo took over for just one more Oriole hit, by Hurlburt and one more run, giving up just one more hit in the game (2.2 innings, 0 earned runs, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk).
“How do you get bases loaded and one out and not score any more than that?” Coach O’Niel lamented.
Two infield pop-ups did the trick.
Another good trick was veteran pitcher Josh Rubino’s first stint as a catcher since Babe Ruth days, as summer vacations took their toll on Sports Palace numbers.
“It felt weird; I’m in foul territory,” he laughed.
More importantly, Rubino used his fastball to throw out two Oriole runners and his pitching smarts to call a great game.
“He was using my two-seam more than usual and he helped a lot with glove positioning,” said Bassler (4.1 innings, 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 hit batter).
“His two-seamer was really moving,” said Rubino.
It was one more good bet by Torrington.
Torrington Sports Palace 7, NWCT Orioles 3
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
NWCT 001 020 0 – 3 9 7
Torrington 203 200 X – 7 5 2
WP: Brian Bassler. LP: Anthony Robarge. 2B: NWCT – Austin Pectaul; Alex Bernadi. T – Kobe Covington; Nick Santillo.
Records: NWCT 3-12; Torrington 12-7.