BURLINGTON, Vt., July 11 -- Shortstop Chris Klepps and DH Justin Lepore each homered as the Twisters (12-14) moved within two games of .500 with a 5-4 win over Vermont (18-10) in Burlington. Pitcher Joe Serafin improved to 2-2 with a strong six inning performance. He scattered nine hits and fanned six. Torrington had 13 hits in the game, led by outfielder Andres Perez with two hits and two RBI. 1B Jared Bolden, C Charles Bressoud and centerfielder Aaron Newman each had two hits. This was the first game of a six-game road trip with no games in Torrington until July 20.
At 12-14, the Twisters are in third place in the Southern Division and eight games behind first place Newport and 3½ behind second place North Adams.
Game 25: Concord 5, Twisters 4 (10)
TORRINGTON, July 10 – Concord’s Andy Meyers scored a run on a double play ground ball by Tyler Stampone in the 10th inning as the Quarry Dogs beat the Twisters, 4-3 at Fuessenich Park. Q-Dogs reliever John Mariotti coaxed a game-ending double play out of the Twisters to preserve the win before about 400 fans. Andy Polk started on the hill for the Q-Dogs and was superb, surrendering only one run through five innings before giving up two in the sixth. Concord has won 11 of its last 14 games.
The Twisters took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when 2B Chris Jackson singled, stole second and scored on a single by centerfielder Aaron Newman. Concord rallied to take a 3-1 lead, sparked by Matt Sutton’s two-run home run to right field. The Twisters tied the game in the sixth on a two-RBI single from DH Justin Lepore.
Torrington rallied in the 10th on back-to-back singles from Aaron Newman and Andres Perez. A bunt single from Mitchell Moses loaded the bases with none out. But 1B Jared Bolden lined out to centerfield and Lepore grounded into a double play to end the game.
Game 21: Gulls 2, Twisters 1 (12)
NEWPORT, July 7 – The Gulls scored a run in the bottom of the ninth and bottom of the 12th to escape with a 2-1 victory over the Twisters. In the 12th inning, second baseman Matt Bouchard reached on a one-out bunt single, moved to second on a single from Jim Henry and scored on a RBI single from Jeff Miller. In the ninth, Scott Brown singled with one out and Andy Lentz walked with two outs. Brown scored on an RBI single from catcher John Mollicone. Twister starter Kurt Houck scattered two hits over seven innings and fanned three. Reliever Noah Booth blew the save while Adam Piechowski suffered the loss.
Game 19: Pittsfield 13, Twisters 9
PITTSFIELD, Mass., July 4 – Before a franchise record crowd of 5,285 at Wachonah Park, the Dukes rallied for five runs in the fourth inning and five more in the eighth to pick up a 13-9 win over the division rival Torrington Twisters. The fans were treated to fireworks after the game. The Dukes (8-11) used five different pitchers to complete the ballgame, and rallied from deficits on two separate occasions to come away victorious. Despite six errors in the game, the Dukes used timely hitting and thrived when the pressure was on.
Pittsfield starting pitcher Mitch Clegg went only four innings allowing four earned runs on eight hits. Bill Riggieri, Mitch Duggans, Chris Chapman and Santo Maertz all made relief appearances. Offensively, the Dukes had many stars on this Forth of July. Willy Fox went 2-5 with a three RBI triple. Both Randy Gress and Matt Rogers picked up RBI doubles, and Grant Escue went 2-5 with an RBI.
Pittsfield rallied from a 5-0 deficit after 3.5 innings. Pittsfield got some hometown help in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Pittsfield SS Randy Gress had a double that bounced off the infield and off the face of Twister 1B Jared Bolden and into right field. "We know that the lip at Wahconah Park needs some work. We've been the victim of it before," Pittsfield manager Tim Levesque told the Berkshire Eagle. "I feel bad for the kid and I hope he's all right. But it was nice to get a bounce or two that way."
Game 17: Twisters 9, Pittsfield 5
TORRINGTON, July 2 – The Twisters (8-9) snapped a three-game losing streak by winning a game of home run derby with Pittsfield (6-11) at Fuessenich Park. Randy Gress had a solo home run for the Dukes while Willy Fox had a grand slam. The Twisters received a grand slam from Matt Arburr in the bottom of the second inning to left field while Andres Perez added a two-run home run.
Serafin leads Twisters to win over Team USA
TORRINGTON, June 29 – Behind pitcher Joe Serafin (Vermont, Simsbury, CT), the Twisters became the first NECBL team to beat Team USA on its annual tour of the NECBL with a 7-2 victory before 1,816 at Fuessenich Park. Serafin limited Team USA to just two runs on seven hits. He struck out eight and walked one in seven innings of work.
Andres Perez and Derek Shunk were the hitting stars for the Twisters. Perez got the night off to a good start for the Twisters, homering to left off pitcher Nick Schmidt leading off the first. Perez later added an RBI single and a run-scoring triple. Shunk was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Matt Arburr (Pace) added a solo shot for the Twisters in the third, off of Bryan Augenstein (Florida). USA starter Nick Schmidt (Arkansas) absorbed the loss.
Adam Piechowski (Central Connecticut State), Noah Booth (Wichita State) and John Quine (San Francisco) combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to wrap up the victory for the Twisters (7-6), who won for the third night in a row.
MANCHESTER, June 22 – Despite committing six errors in the first six innings, walking eight batters, Manchester (4-5) still rallied from a five-run deficit to earn a stunning 7-6 win over the Twisters (5-5). Manchester scored two runs in the eighth on a wild pitch and an error to pull ahead before 382 at Northwest Park. Aaron Garza had two hits and two RBI for the Worms while Aaron Newman had two hits and an RBI for Torrington.
Game 8: North Adams 5, Twisters 3
NORTH ADAMS, June 18 – More clutch hitting lifted the Steeple Cats (6-2) to a win over the Twisters. North Adams catcher Sean Parker’s RBI single in the seventh inning scored the winning run for the Cats. Devery Van DeKeere had an RBI double in the first inning while Sean Conley had an RBI single in the second. Chris Klepps had a home run for the Twisters in the third and was followed by Aaron Newman, who walked and scored on two errors to tie the score. In the fifth, Torrington took a 3-2 lead on another error and a successful squeeze play.
Game 7: Twisters 2, Danbury 1
TORRINGTON, June 17 – Outfielder Matt Arburr hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning that cleared the left centerfield fence and lift the Twisters to its second one-run decision over Danbury in less than a week.
Game 1: Twisters 4, Vermont 0
TORRINGTON, June 9 – The Twisters kicked off season 10 in spectacular fashion. Five-foot-9 lefty Joe Serafin struck out 11, walked none and allowed just five hits in seven innings to lead Torrington to a dominating win at Fuessenich Park. Serafin, who pitches at the University of Vermont, is from nearby Simsbury. “It was nerve-wracking to be in a new place and new field,” he told The Register Citizen. “But I was able to settle down and throw strikes. Getting my curveball over was the key and our defense was outstanding.” At one point, he retired 13 in a row.
Torrington took a 1-0 lead on an error while Chris Klepps and Mitchell Moses each had RBI singles. Klepps scored in the eighth after he stole third and the Mountaineer catcher throw the ball into left field trying to get Klepps at third.
Nearly a dozen former Twisters drafted
Several former Twisters were drafted in the 2006 major league amateur draft.
Kevin Gunderson, LHP, Oregon State selected by Atlanta Braves (5th round, 160th overall). Played for Twisters in 2004
Joe Kantakevich, RHP, William & Mary selected by Seattle Mariners (13th round, 381). He was 5-2 with 2.98 ERA in 8 games for Twisters in 2005.
Matt Oxendine, SS, North Florida – Arizona (15th round, 447). He hit 3 HR, 20 RBI for Twisters in 2004.
Patrick McGuigan, RHP, San Francisco – Toronto (27th round, 810). He was 1-1 with 2.76 ERA and 3 saves in 2005 for Torrington.
Dan Pfau, LHP, George Washington – Washington (27th round, 811). He was 1-2 with 4.94 ERA for Twisters in 2005.
Shea McFeely, 3B, Oregon State – Arizona (28th round, 837). He hit .286 with 8 RBI in 2004.
Ted Dziuba, C, Babson College – Mets (33rd round, 994). He hit .232 with 7 RBI and a home run in 2004 for the Twisters.
Paul Hammond, LHP, Michigan – Detroit (35th round, 1042). He was 1-3 with a 2.11 ERA in eight appearances in 2004.
Lance Salsgiver, OF, Harvard – San Francisco (37th round, 1106). In 2003, he hit .278 with 8 RBI and a home run.
Bryce Lefebvre, 3B, Scottsdale CC – San Diego (45th round, 1350). He is the only current player who was drafted.
Gordon Gronkowski, 1B, Jacksonville – Anaheim (49th round, 1470). He played two years for the Twisters and hit .305 with 17 RBI in 40 games last year.
TORRINGTON, Feb. 7, 2006 -- The Twisters won the right to run the concessions at Fuessenich Park for the next two years. The City Council voted, 4-2, to award a two-year contract to Twister GM Kirk Fredericksson, who bid $3,500 a year for the right to run the concession business. Alfredo’s, who had run the business for the last two years, bid $3,001 a year. Members of the Park and Recreation Commission recommended Alfredo’s bid while city Purchasing Agent Charlene Antonelli recommended Fredericksson, who estimated the business clears $20,000 a year. He wants to use some of that money to supplement the $80,000 a year it costs to field the team.
TORRINGTON, Nov. 6, 2005 -- Former Twisters Ronnie Merrill Jr., David Benham, Jim Deschaine, Brian Houdek and former Torrington Mayor Mary Jane Gryniuk were on hand while a fifth player, Justin Sherrod, could not attend because he was on his way to play winter ball in Venezuela. All played in either on the initial Twister squad in 1997 or in 1998.