NEWPORT, Aug. 4 – Lefthander Brook Dunn allowed only an unearned run in seven innings as the Gulls eliminated the Twisters in the pivotal game 3. Dunn (5-0) struck out five and walked one with his sharp breaking ball, allowing only three singles. "Brooks set the tone," Newport skipper Dennis Healy told the Newport Daily News. "He threw great. He located real well, and we did a good job playing defense, for the most part." Closer Rich Lentz (11 saves) allowed a leadoff home run to Jeff Natale that cut the lead to two runs but he retired the side to preserve the win.
Newport took a 1-0 lead when Drew Locke belted his fourth homer off Twister starter Paul Hammond but the Twisters tied the game a 1-1 in the fifth on a RBI single from Steve Broschofsky.
Errors doomed the Twisters, though. With two out in the seventh and the bases clear, Tommy King reached on an infield error by Eli Iorg. Mike Affronti singled and after a throwing error by third baseman Nick Devito, there were runners on second and third base.
Up came league batting champion Chris Stanton (.405) and Hunt told Hammond to keep the pitches on the outside. But Stanton reached out and smacked a two-RBI single between first and second base for a 3-1 lead. "We thought throwing the ball eight inches off the plate was not a pitch to hit. But I guess we were wrong,” Twister manager Gregg Hunt told the Daily News. Newport added another run in the eighth on a RBI single from Shawn McGill, scoring Locke who had walked. "A break, a bounce, it could have been a different story," Hunt said.
Playoffs game 2: Twisters 4, Newport 1
TORRINGTON, Aug. 4 – Jeff Hourigan hit six batters but scattered six hits and fanned seven over eight innings to lift the Twisters past Newport in game 2. "Jeff did a great job," Twister manager Gregg Hunt said. "He had just enough. It was the effort we needed out of Jeff because it was do or die for us." Nick Devito had a key two-run home run in the sixth inning.
TORRINGTON, July 31 – The Twisters (19-23) took care of business Saturday night at Fuessenich Park scoring three runs in the fifth inning to erase a one-run deficit and beat Sanford to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth straight year. Torrington closed out the season with three wins in its last five games. Steve Spurgeon (2-2) earned the win on the mound for the Twisters, who open the NECBL Southern Division semifinals at Newport on Monday. Game 2 is Tuesday in Torrington. The Twisters were 2-3 this year against Newport.
Gm 40-41: Berkshire 12-2, Torrington 4-3
TORRINGTON, July 30 -- Torrington was cruising in the opener, leading 4-0. But Berkshire sent 17 men to the plate in the sixth inning, scored a record 12 runs and prevailed in game 1. Berkshire had six straight singles at one point and hit three home runs in the fateful sixth, including a grand slam from Gary Krueger. But in game two, Ryan Amason (5-0) stopped a Twister losing streak for the fourth time this year with a strong six-inning performance. He scattered five hits and fanned seven. Despite getting only one hit, Torrington scored three runs on four errors to earn a 3-2 win. The Twisters (18-23) can earn a playoff bid with a win over Sanford on Saturday. The 12 runs was the most allowed in one inning in Twister history. Torrington gave up seven runs twice to Danbury in 1997.
n Holyoke can force a one-game playoff on Sunday with a win over Newport and a Twister loss to Sanford.
Game 39: Newport 7, Torrington 3
TORRINGTON, July 22 – A flat Twister squad fell to Southern Division leader Newport, 7-2 on Tuesday but thanks to Holyoke’s loss to North Adams, Torrington moved within two games of clinching a playoff spot.
Game 38: Torrington 1, Danbury 0
DANBURY, July 27 – Jeff Hourigan struck out six and twirled the third no-hitter in team history to lead the Twisters to a crucial victory. Hourigan (5-2) allowed just three hits to outduel Danbury’s Justin Bors (8 strikeouts, 3 hits). Torrington scored its lone run in the fifth thanks to three errors. Gordie Gronkowski reached on an error and moved to second base. When Ted Dziuba singled, Gronkowski scored on an other error. The Twisters (17-21) extended its lead over Holyoke (16-23) for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Southern Division to 1½ games with four left to play. Torrington can clinch a spot with three wins or three Giants losses.
Twisters pick up a half-game
Manchester nipped Holyoke, 1-0, to clinch its first-ever playoff berth, dropping the Giants (16-22) a half-game behind Torrington (16-21) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Southern Division. Torrington's game at Berkshire was washed out due to rain.
Game 37: Concord 6, Twisters 5 (11)
TORRINGTON, July 26 – The Twisters rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings but Concord’s John Welch hit a solo home run in the 11th inning to lift the Quarry Dogs (19-18). Concord snapped a 1-1 with four runs in the ninth thanks to an error and three walks. But the Twisters (16-21) scored four thanks to a RBI sacrifice fly from Gordon Gronkowski and a three-run home run from DH Nick DeVito, his third HR in the last two weeks. "Lethargic is the only word to describe our performance today," Twisters manager Gregg Hunt told The Register Citizen. "We wasted a solid pitching performance from James Cramphin (six innings, no runs, three strikeouts) and our inability to play basic defensive baseball is why we lost."
MONTPELIER, Vt., July 25 – Manchester’s P.J. Antoniato was 3-for-5 with four RBI as the Southern Division All-Stars beat the Northern Division before a record crowd of 4,127 at Montpelier Recreation Field. Twister manager Gregg Hunt coached the Southern Division. Catcher Jon Hodach had a double while pitchers Jeff Hourigan and Paul Hammond (2 walks, 1 strikeout) each pitched an inning of scoreless relief.
TORRINGTON, July 24 – The Twisters continue to surge as the season winds down. Torrington won for the eighth time in the last 11 games with a crucial 2-1 win over the Giants. Torrington (16-20) took half-game lead over Holyoke (16-21) for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Southern Division. Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Steve Broschofsky walked and was replaced by pinch runner Brian Cavanaugh. After Seth Iorg struck out, Cavanaugh stole second. After another strikeout and walk, Jeff Natale ripped a two-out RBI single to right field. Natale added a solo home run in the first inning.
Pitcher Steve Spurgeon (1-2) earned his first win as a Twister, going 8 2/3rd innings, scattering four hits and fanning five. Kevin Gunderson retired one batter in the ninth for his third save. Spurgeon retired 16 of 17 hitters at one point. The Twisters have won 15 straight over the Giants, dating back to the 2001 campaign and have won 19 of the last 21 between the two franchises.
Etc. -- Keene clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 5-2 win over Manchester.
Game 35: Twisters 7, Riverpoint 1
TORRINGTON, July 22 – Outfielder Steven Broschofsky, who had just two hits all season (2-for-43, had a pair of hits including a two-run home run to lift the Twisters (15-20) to their 7th win in the last 10 games. “It feels good to finally contribute after watching everyone else do so,” he told The Register Citizen. Hurler T.J. Franco earned the win, fanning seven and scattering 10 hits in his second straight complete game performance. Eli Iorg had four hits including a RBI triple while Brian Cavanaugh, Nick Devito and Broschofsky each had RBI singles. The Twisters moved into a tie for fourth place with the Giants.
Game 34: Twisters 10, Holyoke 6
HOLYOKE, Mass., July 21 – First baseman Gordie Gronkowski was 3-for-5 with 4 RBI, a double and triple as the Twisters rapped out 14 hits. Catcher Jon Hodach (double, 2 RBI) and DH Nick Devito (triple, RBI) each had three hits for Torrington (14-20). Pitcher Jeff Hourigan improved to 4-2 with a strong six-inning effort. He scattered eight hits, struck out four and walked none. Reliever Jesse Darcy pitched three innings of relief, allowing three hits and one run.
Game 33: Twisters 4, Newport 3
TORRINGTON, July 20 – Twisters coach Gregg Hunt earned his 200th career victory as Torrington (13-20) rallied for a thrilling come-from-behind victory at Fuessenich Park. Hurler Ryan Amason (4-0) went the distance, allowing just four hits and striking out six. He retired the final 17 batters he faced and yielded zero walks. In the eighth with Torrington down 3-2, Matt Oxendine singled and 6-foot-6 Gordon Gronkowski followed with a two-run home run to left field. Gronkowski finished with a double, homer and four RBI. "It’s not 200 wins for me, its 200 wins for the Torrington Twisters," Hunt told The Register Citizen. "I’m very proud of the success we’ve had here. We’ve had a lot of great players that helped make this possible."
Four named to All-Star team
TORRINGTON, July 20 – Four Twisters were named to the Southern Division All-Star team. Pitcher Jeff Hourigan earned a spot on the team for the second straight year along with pitcher Paul Hammond, shortstop Eli Iorg and catcher Jon Hodach. The All-Star game is Saturday at Vermont.
Game 32: Riverpoint 7, Twisters 0
WEST WARWICK, R.I., July 20 – Five individual Twisters had singles but nothing more as Riverpoint shutout Torrington (12-20). All-Star hurler Paul Hammond (1-3) allowed five hits and fanned eight but received little offensive support.
Game 31: Sanford 5, Twisters 4 (12)
SANFORD, Me. – Late-game errors continue to haunt the Twisters as Sanford scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 12th, the winning run on an error. The Twisters (12-19) led 3-1 before Sanford scored twice in the eighth on an error, two bunt singles, a sacrifice fly and a RBI single. Torrington took a 4-3 lead in the 12th when Nick DeVito tripled and scored on a sacrifice bunt from Seth Iorg. DeVito was 2-for 5 with a triple and home run while catcher Ted Dziuba was 3-for-4 with a HR. Jeff Natale added a double for Torrington. Reliever Kevin Gunderson pitched 4 2/3 innings and took the loss.
Game 30: Manchester 3, Twisters 2
MANCHESTER, July 17 – It was another one-run loss for the Twisters as Manchester captured its fifth straight game at home. It was Manchester’s sixth straight 1-run victory. Manchester hurler Ricky Brooks fanned nine through seven innings while lefthander Mitch Heckert wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his third save. With no outs, the Twisters (12-18) loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a bunt single but Brooks struck out Jeff Hourigan and Shea McFeely looking. Nick Devito drew a walk to trim the lead to 3-2 but Seth Iorg popped up to end the game. Doug Hehner’s RBI double and Greg Smith’s RBI single scored two runs for the Worms. Smith added the third after two wild pitches and an infield error. Manchester improves to 16-13.
Game 29: Twisters 3, Holyoke 2
TORRINGTON, July 16 – Torrington (12-17) matched its longest winning streak of the season with a one-run victory over the Giants before 1,723 at Fuessenich Park. Matt Oxendine’s two-RBI single in the eighth was the difference. Eli Iorg led off the inning reaching on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice and stole third. Two walks loaded the bases for Oxendine. Jeff Natale was 2-for-3 while Iorg had two hits including an RBI single in the fifth. Kevin Gunderson pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his third save. Torrington moved into fourth place with the win.
Game 28: Twisters 5, Manchester 0
TORRINGTON, July 15 – Hurler P.J. Franco fanned 13 and allowed only three hits as the Twisters (11-17) won for the third straight game. "I knew it was going to be a good night when I got my fastball and slider over the plate," Franco (2-2) told The Register Citizen. “I was then able to throw my change-up, which was dirty tonight. My bread and butter is my change-up-fastball combination and if I get those over, I’m going to be successful." Nate Jaggers and Eli Iorg each hit home runs in the second inning while Matt Oxendine added a towering home run to left field in the eighth inning. With the win, the Twisters crawled out of last place.
DANBURY, July 14 – Jeff Hourgian threw eight innings of shutout baseball as the Twisters won their second straight over Danbury, which had captured three straight 1-run decisions over Torrington. “I used a different approach in the beginning and used more off-speed pitches to try to get them out early in the count. It worked and I was able to save myself for the end," Hourigan told The Register Citizen. Shea McFeely had four hits for Torrington (10-17) while Nick DeVito had a solo home run.
TORRINGTON, July 9 – It was a night of wasted opportunities for the Twisters (8-13). Riverpoint scored single runs in the eighth and ninth inning to dump the Twisters before 1,107 at Fuessenich Park. Starting pitcher T.J. Franco had a solid seven inning performance, allowing five hits, 1 run and fanning eight. But the Twister bullpen couldn’t get it done, allowing five hits and two runs. Ted Dzibua doubled while Matt Oxendine had a solo home run. Nick Devito had an RBI single.
In the eighth, Tucker Frawley scored on Brian Rath’s one-out RBI single off reliever Steve Spurgeon. With the bases loaded, Twister reliever Phil Tognetti fanned Michael Schmidt to end the inning. In the ninth, Matt McGraner led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice. He scored on a ground out to the pitcher.
Game 20: Twisters 6, Holyoke 1
TORRINGTON, July 8 – Hurler Jeff Hourigan (2-2) allowed just three hits and fanned six over six innings as the Twisters prevailed before 1,177 at Fuessenich Park. Shea McFeely and catcher Ted Dzibua had two hits and one RBI. Cale Crews added an RBI double. McFeely also doubled. "Hopefully this is the game that can turn us around," Hourigan told The Register Citizen. said Hourigan. "It was great to put up some runs and capitalize on the opportunities we had."
Game 19: Danbury 3, Torrington 2
TORRINGTON, July 6 – For the third time this season, Danbury (9-12) pinned a one-run loss on the Twisters. “We wasted too many good opportunities,” Twister coach Gregg Hunt said. Torrington stranded eight runners on base and have dropped 11 of its last 14 games. “This is something we have to fight through. We’ve been good enough to win but we have played just poor enough to lose.”
The Twisters (7-12) took a quick 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Eli Iorg but Danbury scored three runs with two outs in the third. Cale Crews cut the lead to one with a solo home run in the fifth. But the Twisters stranded six runners in the final three innings, including twice leaving a runner at third base. Seth Iorg finished with two singles for Torrington while hurler Paul Hammond finished with six strikeouts and five runs allowed in six innings work.
Freefall into last place
TORRINGTON, July 5 – Three weeks ago, the Twisters were 4-1 and in first place in the Southern Division. Since then, Torrington has only won three of its last 13 games. With Berkshire’s win over Keene on Sunday, the Twisters (7-11) have fallen into last place in the South. In the spirit of optimism, a seven-game winning streak this summer lifted Keene from last place in the North into first place before last night’s loss to the Dukes.
Game 18: Keene 3, Twisters 0
KEENE, July 3 – The Swamp Bats completed their ascension from last place to first by winning their 7th straight game with a shutout of the Twisters before 2,402 at Alumni Field. Keene pitchers Ryan Turner and Brandt Sanders combined to pitch a five-hit shutout. Matt Cunningham had a solo home run for the Bats (12-7) while Jim Martin added a RBI sac fly in the fifth. Torrington’s T.J. Franco (1-2) allowed just six hits and fanned five over seven innings. Eli Iorg had two hits for the Twisters (7-11).
Game 17: Twisters 6, Berkshire 5
TORRINGTON, July 2 – The Twisters (7-10) erased a five-run Dukes lead to earn a victory before 699 at Fuessenich Park. Shortstop Eli Iorg was 2-for-4 with a triple and 1 RBI while Jeff Natale and Jon Hodach each added two hits. John Cronin made his Twister debut and picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning. The Twister bullpen allowed only one hit and fanned five in four innings of work.
Trailing 5-0, Torrington scored its first run in the seventh on Jeff Hourigan’s RBI double. In the eighth, the Twisters added four. Anthony Norman, Iorg and Natale each had RBI singles while Matt Oxendine had a sacrifice fly.
Game 16: Manchester 3, Twisters 0
TORRINGTON, July 1 – A pair of Silkworm hurlers scattered six hits and fanned seven as the slumping Twisters (6-10) lost for the fourth time in the last five outings. Brian Cavanaugh had two hits while Eli Iorg added a double. "Last year we capitalized on all our opportunities and we’re definitely not doing that right now, including myself," Twister right fielder Brian Cavanaugh told The Register Citizen. "The good thing is that there’s still plenty of baseball to play. We have the whole month of July and a lot of home games. I’m looking forward to it." The Twisters have lost nine of its last 11 games.
Game 15: Danbury 6, Twisters 5
DANBURY, June 30 – The road doesn’t get any easier for the Twisters, who are still learning how to win games in the NECBL. Danbury administered another painful lesson Wednesday when Matt Joyce belted a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Jesse Darcy to lift the Westerners (7-10) to the victory. Joyce had a double and two RBI for Danbury. Seth Iorg had a double for the Twisters (6-9) while Nate Jaggers added his first homer of the season in the 6th. Jon Hodach had a three-RBI single in the fifth. Torrington starter Jeff Hourigan fanned 12 in six innings of work.
TORRINGTON, June 29 – It was ugly for the Twisters at Fuessenich Park. Torrington committed five errors, including four in the sixth as Riverpoint rolled to an easy win. Starting pitcher Steve Spurgeon walked six in the first four innings as the Twisters fell to two games under .500.
Game 13: Twisters 9, Holyoke 0
HOLYOKE, Mass., June 28 – Pitcher Paul Hammond went the distance, twirling a one-hitter and fanning 11 as the Twisters prevailed at McKenzie Stadium. He walked only four. Justin Vincent spoiled the no-hit bid with one out in the ninth with a single. Nate Jaggers had a double, two singles and three RBI for Torrington while catcher Nick DeVito added three singles. Jeff Natale added a single, double and one RBI. The Twisters had 11 hits and stranded 10 runners.
Game 12: Manchester 4, Twisters 1
MANCHESTER, June 27 – The Silkworms captured a franchise record fifth straight game behind a solid effort from hurler Ryan DiPietro, who scattered five hits over eight shutout innings. Steve Malinowski had a two-RBI single in the second inning while Doug Hehner added a two-RBI single in the eighth. The Twisters (5-7) committed three errors and allowed three unearned runs. Catcher Ted Dziuba had three hits while Jeff Natale hit his fifth double of the season. Nate Crews also doubled.
Game 11: Twisters 9, Concord 7
CONCORD, N.H., June 26 – Shea McFeely belted a two-run homer and Nate Jaggers had a two-RBI single as Torrington erased a seven-run deficit to beat the Quarry Dogs. Torrington (5-6) scored seven runs in the final two innings and had 15 hits to earn the win. Catcher Ted Dziuba and Brian Cavanaugh each had two singles and a double. Jeff Natale, McFeely and Jaggers each had two hits while McFeely drove in three runs. The Twisters scored six runs in the eighth on five hits, two errors and a wild pitch.
Game 10: Danbury 6, Twisters 5 (12)
TORRINGTON, June 24 -- Torrington dropped a franchise record fifth straight game. The Twisters (4-6) stranded a team-record 16 batters in the game, leaving the bases loaded in the first inning and stranding runners in scoring position in the seventh, eighth, ninth,10th and 11th innings. “Good teams win these type of games,” a frustrated Twister coach Gregg Hunt said. “That isn’t to say that this team won’t be good. But last year we won all of these type of games. We have to find a way to relax in the clutch and finish the job.”
Even in defeat, the Twisters showed some guts. Three times, Danbury took the lead only to see Torrington rally and tie the score. Down by one in the seventh, Shea McFeely ripped a two-out triple and scored when second baseman Nate Jaggers laid a suicide squeeze bunt up the third base line on the first pitch. In the ninth, Ted Dzivba's RBI double tied the game.