TORRINGTON – The Torrington senior Legion baseball team dropped a trio of games – two to the Cheyenne Hawks on Wednesday – and its home opener to WESTCO on Saturday afternoon at Bullock Field.
One common theme among the games were the big innings by the opposition.
“We had plenty of opportunities and played well for the most part in the majority of all three games,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “If you look at the box score, the second game against Cheyenne and WESTCO, there was one inning that got away from us.”
Torrington opened the games with a 4-3 loss to the Cheyenne Hawks.
The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning courtesy of a double by Bryce Hager, scoring Austin Short.
Cheyenne countered with all four of its runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Torrington got two back in the top of the sixth on a double by Matthew Hellus, scoring Caeden Riley and Ben Firminhac.
“We’ve left several guys on base,” Mortimore said. “We had first and second with nobody out in the second and third innings and only get one run across.”
Hager and Hellus paced the Tiger offense in the loss. Hager went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Hellus drove in two runs with his only hit of the game.
Jackson Jones was tagged with the loss, pitching four innings, striking out four and giving up three earned runs.
“When you lose a game by one run and see how many guys you leave on base, it’s indicative that we were right in the game but just couldn’t come up with the big hit to work in our favor,” Mortimore said.
In game two of the conference doubleheader, Torrington and Cheyenne matched each other run for run through the first four innings.
Riley put the Tigers in front with an RBI single in the top of the first, but the Hawks answered with a run of their own in the home half of the frame.
In the fourth inning, Torrington went back in front 3-1 off a triple by Jones, but much like the first, it was short lived. Cheyenne battled back with two of its own in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game up again.
In the fifth, Firminhac scored on a passed ball to put the Tigers back in front again, but in the bottom of the fifth, Cheyenne plated three runs, taking the lead for good.
The Hawks finished off the run-ruled contest with eight runs in the sixth.
Riley went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI as the Tigers tallied six total hits in the loss, and he suffered the loss despite striking out eight, surrendering four earned runs.
Saturday’s home opener was much the same story in an 12-5 loss against the WESTCO Zephyrs in a single seven-inning contest.
An error by WESTCO allowed Aidyn Saucedo to reach base, scoring Hellus and Bivens on the play.
The Zephyrs countered with three runs in the top of the fourth, but Saucedo’s single in the bottom half of the inning drove in Bivens to tie the game at three apiece.
In the top of the fifth, things came undone for Torrington as WESTCO scored nine times.
“We seemed to compound the issue with another error or another walk. We are still learning how to put our foot down and have someone step up and get a big out,” That’ll come. We aren’t even 10 games in yet. It’s rough when it happens in situations where we need critical outs.”
The Tigers got two back in the bottom of the fifth, but it wasn’t enough in the seven-run loss.
“We’ve got new guys coming in and a bunch of youngsters getting some time right now,” Mortimore said. “They are still getting acclimated to how we run things at the ‘A’ level and the game speed. They are getting thrown into the fire pretty quickly. They are responding for the most part – positively. I’m optimistic we’ll get to where we need to be. It was the first stretch we’ve had consecutive games and a full roster of guys that we can move around and see who will fit where.”
Jones and Bivens collected two hits apiece in the loss. Jones took the loss, pitching 4 1/3 innings, striking out one and giving up six earned runs.
The Tigers host the annual Dean Bullock Memorial Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Torrington will play Green River at 4 p.m. and Alliance, Neb. at 7 p.m. Friday. The next day, the Tigers will face Buffalo at 3 p.m. and Douglas at 6 p.m.
“We are excited to have seven teams, including us coming in. It will be a full slate of games both days and some really good competition coming in,” Mortimore said. “I’m optimistic to watch some good baseball and see where we stack up. It’ll be nice to see a little bit different competition than our normal conference games. I’m just excited to bring some good baseball into Torrington this weekend.”