Suns' rally falls short in 10-9 loss to Torrington
Photo Gallery | Pittsfield Suns vs. Torrington Titans
PITTSFIELD -- The Torrington Titans come back to Wahconah Park for a doubleheader on Thursday night. The Pittsfield Suns might hope the Titans forget to bring third baseman Jack St. Clair with them.
St. Clair scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the eighth inning and then robbed two Pittsfield batters of potential game-tying or winning hits, as the Suns' rally fell short in a 10-9 loss on Sunday afternoon. The loss ended the Suns' season-best win streak at a club record-tying six.
First, St. Clair robbed Chris Reynolds of a single, turning it into a force play, and then snared a grounder by Paul Cotler and just got the runner at first.
"[St. Clair] saved the game really, on both of them," Pittsfield manager Tom Conley said. "The infield was really hard today and I thought the one Reynolds hit was going to go over. Then I thought Cotler's was going to get in the hole there and we were going to have first and second."
St. Clair also got on with an infield single to open the eighth inning and he later scored on Langston Calhoun's center. But it was his two defensive plays that were in the spotlight.
"I got the opportunity to make them and I did," said St. Clair. "If they didn't hit [the ball] in that exact spot, we're tied or there was a different result."
The Suns trailed 10-4 after 7 1/2 innings and the game appeared to be over. But the home team rallied for four runs on three hits in the home eighth. Cotler hit a two-run single to center and Tad Martin plated two with a single that just got inside the bag at third.
Then after reliever Mitch Holtz, making his Suns debut, retired the side in order in the ninth, Pittsfield kept the crowd of 781 on the edge of its seats.
Edgar Montes, who had a two-run double in the fifth, led off with a single to left. With one out, Torrington shortstop Matthew Batton booted a grounder off the bat of Zach Tower. Montes hustled his way to third. Then, Reynolds' high chop was fielded by St. Clair and the third baseman forced Tower at second. Montes scored to make it 10-9. Then Cotler hit a ball that looked like it was going to find a hole, but St. Clair made the play and threw Cotler out to end the game.
"In the beginning, we were struggling. We were able to come back, put some runs on the board," said Reynolds, "and make it exciting at the end. The loss hurts, but it hurts a lot less when you lose by one run instead of by seven.
"The thing about this team is we don't give up. We might be down by eight runs, but we'll keep fighting like we did today."
Zach Tower singled and scored in the eighth for the Suns, extending his hitting streak to nine games.
Montes, who was 2 for 5, was also involved in the game's most talked about play. With one out in the fifth and a runner on first, Torrington's Mike Odenwaelder swung at the first pitch he saw from Pittsfield starter Jacob Williams and sent it the other way to right. Montes kept running and ran out of room, crashing through the fence as Odenwaelder circled the sacks with his fifth home run of the year.
"Off the bat, I saw it was carrying so I kept running," Montes said. "At the last second, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the fence. I had an opportunity to make the play, but didn't make the play and ran through the fence."
Fortunately for Montes, he was only shaken up and came back to hit his two-run double in the bottom of the inning.
NOTES: The Suns' home game with Torrington Thursday is now a twi-night doubleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Suns will start the opener trailing 5-1, as it is the continuation of Thursday's game in Torrington. It will be a nine-inning game with a seven-inning game to follow. ... While the fireworks show from Friday's rainout with Nashua will be made up Saturday night, the game with the Silver Knights will not be. The Suns are in Nashua on July 29, the last time the teams will play, and there is already a doubleheader scheduled for that game. ... Holtz appeared in eight games for Penn this year, all in relief. He'll wear No. 36.
Torrington 004 021 210 -- 10 14 3
Pittsfield 000 030 141 -- 9 12 3
Gibbons (4 1/3), Gerics (2 1/3), Dube (1), Robarge (1) and Budd. Williams (5), Barbarotta (1), Drew (1), Holt (2) and Reynolds. W--Gerics (2-0). L--Williams (1-2). 2B--P 3 (Montes, Cotler, Martin). HR--T 1 (Odenwaelder).
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