TORRINGTON >> Waterbury surged to a 6-2 win over Torrington in the final inning at Fuessenich Park Wednesday night in a classic coaching dilemma.
Torrington’s D.J. Reynolds and Waterbury’s Owen Kane dueled for six innings in a 2-1 ballgame with Sports Palace in the lead.
“The plan was to have Owen go four or five innings because we have another game tomorrow,” said Waterbury Coach Kevin Barbieri. “But he was doing so well, I couldn’t take him out.”
Torrington Coach Bill Heintz faced a similar problem.
The difference came in pitching styles.
Kane (7 innings, 3 earned runs, 6 hits, 10 strikeouts, 0 walks), a rising sophomore at Post University, throws a slider and two different curves with a fastball mixed in. When he’s on, as he was Wednesday, he’s as much of a power pitcher as any closer might be.
Reynolds (7 innings, 6 earned runs, 10 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks) picks his spots and relies on off-speed pitches and his defense.
It worked for six innings, despite some hard-hit outs. With just three more outs left for a hard-won victory, the situation cried for a power pitcher to change the mix.
Heintz didn’t have one available and his best alternative, Josh Rubino, was slated to pitch tonight against undefeated Amenia.
“We’re a hitting team. We have to get people on base to use our speed,” Heintz said.
So, with Reynolds losing his edge, Waterbury took off in the top of the seventh, starting with a hit batter, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI triple by Charlie Timme (2-for-4, run), tying the score and opening the floodgates for more.
Kane knifed an RBI single down the first base line for the lead. Nick Ganio walked. Devin Acker, a rising senior at Thomaston High School, hit his second triple of the game for two more runs.
Kyle Barbieri (2-for-4) looped a single over second base for the final Waterbury run. The total was five runs in the inning on four hits, two walks and a hit batter.
The only damage allowed by Reynolds and his defense before that came in a three-hit fourth inning, highlighted by Acker’s first triple and an RBI single by Adriano Moura.
Kane allowed just his second and third hits of the game that same inning, starting with a bunt single by Rubino and an RBI triple by Jimmy Lamana. A wild pitch gave Torrington the lead.
Kane gave up three more hits in the bottom of the seventh, by Lamana, Kobe Covington and Reynolds, good for one more Sports Palace run.
Nevertheless, for Coach Barbieri, there was no dilemma left. Kane had too much stuff left to take out.
Waterbury 6, Torrington Sports Palace 2
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Waterbury 000 100 5 – 6 10 1
Torrington 000 200 1 – 3 6 1
WP: Owen Kane. LP: D.J. Reynolds. 3B: W – Charlie Timme; Devin Acker 2. T – Jimmy Lamana.
Records: Waterbury 6-3; Torrington 6-3.