Gulls manager Paul Buckle kept faith with the side that had knocked League One Carlisle out of the FA Cup and was rewarded with a sparkling first-half performance.
Saturday's match-winner Eunan O'Kane put the home side 1-0 ahead when he latched on to a left-wing cross from forward Chris Zebroski at the far post to lash the ball home.
Crewefell further behind in the 16th minute following Kevin Nicholson's corner from the left which was met by Zebroski at the near post with a superb glancing header.
Torquay tired in the second spell and Crewe reduced the deficit when recalled midfielder Danny Shelley thumped an unstoppable strike past home keeper Scott Bevan from 25 yards.
Torquay 2-1 Crewe: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.