TORRINGTON >> Torrington baseball looked like the team that rang up eight straight wins at the beginning of the season Thursday night, coming back for a 10-8 win over league-leading Watertown in its final at-bat.
The Red Raiders (13-7) crushed the ball for most of those first eight games, then fell back to a combination of good pitchers and/or defenses that caught up with their long fly balls.
“Today, we finally found the gaps,” grinned Kobe Covington, who went 3-for-4, with a double, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored.
“We’ve been working on line drives,” said Cam Cerruto after parking the game-winning line drive to the right center field fence.
“We stayed focused,” said Manny Rijo, with 2 doubles, 2 RBI and a run scored.
“This is what we’re capable of,” said Torrington coach Pat Richardson.
Nevertheless, Watertown (16-4) proved why they’re in first place early in the game.
Torrington started with an infield error in the top of the first inning. The Indians rattled off seven straight hits, most of them line drives, except for a two-run home run by Ricky Descoteaux.
Torrington sophomore Tyler Troth (4 innings, 13 hits, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk) kept his head up and his pitches down through six Watertown runs.
Troth came back for three more innings, giving up two more runs in the fourth.
Down 6-0, the Raiders began chipping back in the bottom of the first.
Nate Manchester (2-for-3, 3 runs scored) led off with a line drive double. Dom Sabia lined him home.
Troth held it to 6-1 through the top of the third.
Manchester started it again in the bottom of the inning with a bloop single. Sabia reached on a Watertown error.
Covington lined a two-run double to the left center field fence. Jason Vinisko doubled him to third. Ben Bonvicini hit a long sacrifice fly to center field.
Covington hustled home, 6-4.
It was a game again.
The Indians liked it better when it wasn’t.
In the top of the fourth, Watertown’s Alex Lopez walked. Ryan Brown (2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs scored) snaked a ground ball down the third base line for a double.
Alex Burr (2-for-4) drove in two runs in the first. Now he did it again – a single through the infield gap, 8-4.
Torrington inched up again.
P.J. Kilmartin singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Manchester reached on an error. Rijo smashed a two-run double over Ty Meka’s head in center field, 8-6.
Vinisko took the mound in the sixth, holding Watertown to one hit in the next three innings.
“We were mixing up the calls,” said catcher Cerruto.
“My curve and change worked best,” said Vinisko.
Still, Watertown lefthander Eric Blake (5.1 innings, 6 earned runs, 9 hits, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks) kept the Raiders in check through the fifth, still down 8-6.
Torrington’s final climb came in the sixth.
Manchester led off with a walk. Sabia hit a fielder’s choice. Rijo tagged his second double, moving Sabia to third.
With Covington looming up to bat representing the winning run, Watertown coach Jerry Valentino had enough.
He brought in senior right hander Anthony Gizzi.
Covington greeted him with a two-run single to the fence, 8-8.
Bonvicini drew a two-out walk.
Cerruto’s line drive to right drove two runs in, 10-8.
The Indians had one more chance, the top of the seventh.
Vinisko put them down.
Rijo, in center field, finished it with a great running catch for the final out.
“Hopefully, this will be the spark that gets us going again,” said Coach Richardson.
Torrington plays Watertown one more time, in Saturday’s first round of the NVL Tournament, 2 p.m. at Watertown’s Deland Field.
Torrington 10, Watertown 8
At Fuessenich Park, Torrington
Watertown 600 200 0 – 8 14 3
Torrington 103 204 X – 10 11 4
WP: Jason Vinisko. LP: Anthony Gizzi. HR: W – Ricky Descoteaux. 2B: W – Ryan Brown; Kyle Sklanka. T – Nate Manchester; Manny Rijo 2; Kobe Covington; Vinisko.
Records: Watertown 16-4; Torrington 13-7.