TORRINGTON – The Torrington senior Legion baseball team committed 13 errors on Tuesday night in a conference doubleheader against the Wheatland Lobos.
Wheatland took advantage of the mistakes and turned it into a pair of losses for the Tigers.
“We talked with the guys a little bit afterwards,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “When you make errors and hurt yourselves, good teams are going to take advantage, and that’s what Wheatland did.”
Torrington committed eight errors in game one in a 13-7 loss and five errors in a 14-5 game two loss.
“They beat us on the scoreboard, but we really beat ourselves,” Mortimore said.
In game one, an error, wild pitch and an RBI groundout gave the visitors an early 2-0 lead, but a leadoff single by Deagan Keith looked to set the tone for the home team. Keith eventually came around to score a Wheatland error.
Over the next three innings, Wheatland scored 11 additional runs with nine of those runs crossing the plate with two out on the scoreboard.
“Pitching-wise, I thought we competed well. We were in the strike zone. Caeden (Riley) and Jackson (Jones) did what they needed to do as starters. Then Nolan (Long) came on in game one and did a really good job. Austin did what Austin has been doing. Deagan came in and did what he does in game two. He got hit around the last couple innings, but that was to be expected,” Mortimore said. “That’s our goal. We want teams to put the ball in play and for us to make the plays. It’s tough to win when you don’t make the plays.”
Torrington’s offense finally started to show some life in the bottom of fourth.
Ben Firminhac, Ryder Hackbarth, Keith, Jones and Long collected hits, while outfielder Aidyn Saucedo was hit by a pitch.
The Tigers were able to get four runs across in the frame to cut the Wheatland lead to 9-5.
Wheatland answered with four runs in the fifth, but Torrington didn’t threaten again until the bottom of the seventh.
“We failed to make an adjustment. Their two starters threw the ball well. Those two guys have a ton of experience and did what they have to do to be competitive on their end,” Mortimore said. “We failed to make the adjustment at the plate. By the time we did, they’d make a pitching change, and we are right back to square one. We need to find a way to make quicker adjustments at the plate.”
Mortimore is confident they will improve.
In the seventh, Long and Firminhac were hit by pitches, while Short and Hackbarth tallied hits to drive in a pair of runs, but that proved to be where the Torrington rally ended.
Hackbarth, Short, Firminhac and Keith tallied two hits apiece for the Tigers, while Jones was tagged with the loss. He struck out two and surrendered eight runs – only two of which were earned.
In game two, it was Torrington who struck first.
In the bottom of the fourth, Matthew Hellus drove in the game’s first run.
The lead, however, was short-lived. Wheatland countered with six runs in the top of the fifth.
The Lobos pushed the lead to 8-1 in the sixth, but Torrington chipped away at the deficit in the bottom half of the inning.
Hackbarth was hit by a pitch, while Saucedo, Keith and Jones singled. A Hager walk and a failed Lobo rundown allowed Torrington to cut the Wheatland lead to 8-5.
Wheatland closed out the game with six more runs in the top of the seventh.
Jones went 4-for-4 at the plate, and Riley took the loss. He struck out seven and gave up seven runs, which only three were earned runs.
“It’s just frustrating when you put the best product out there and get beat by a team that is better than us right now, but down the road, they won’t be better than us,” Mortimore said.
The Tigers (8-10 overall and 1-5 in the ‘A’ Southeast) host Douglas (14-10 and 1-1 in the ‘A’ Northeast) and Laramie (24-11 and 3-3 in the ‘AA’ East) on Friday and Saturday.
“Should be a good weekend,” Mortimore said.
There will be ‘B’ games prior to the ‘A’ games both days.
“We’ll let the younger kids get some action, which is much needed right now to get them some reps,” Mortimore said.
Douglas and Laramie are both coached by Tiger alum. Douglas is coached by Travis Mortimore and Laramie by Aaron Lozano.
“It’ll be fun to bring Torrington baseball back and bring it alive and have a fun weekend,” Mortimore said.
Friday’s games are scheduled for 5 and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s games are set for 1 and 3:30 p.m.