DOUGLAS – Four members of the Torrington Tiger baseball season wrapped up the baseball season on Saturday, participating in the inaugural Wyoming Legion ‘A’ All-Star Game at Nida Field in Douglas.
Caeden Riley, Jackson Jones, Ben Firminhac and coach Rob Mortimore represented the Tiger program. Teams were selected by coaches based on being named to the All-State or first or second team All-Conference accolades.
Every team at the ‘A’ level was represented, minus Cody, who is currently in Alaska playing at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.
“It was a great day for baseball and single ‘A’ baseball in Wyoming. It’s great to see these kids on the field, having some fun and competing. Obviously would have loved to win the game, but when it comes down to it, it’s about getting those kids out there and letting them have a good time,” Mortimore said. “I look forward to doing this again down the road. It’s definitely something we need to do.”
The game had been in the making for some time. It was a topic which was discussed last December at the winter meetings.
“We wanted to get something kicked off and going,” Mortimore said. “I think we set the table now how it can be done and done right. So hopefully, ‘AA’ will follow us next year and do their own thing.”
At the end of the day, the West All-Stars scored a 10-7 come-from-behind victory, and the day set the bar high for future all-star games.
Despite the loss for the East All-Stars, the locals shined on the field.
“These 19s and Ben to come up here and represent Torrington the way they did says great things about Torrington baseball,” Mortimore said. “Two 19-year-olds coming up and leading by example and putting on a great show. It’s just great for baseball in Torrington. It was great seeing these three guys have some success here today.”
Riley recorded a three up, three down first inning as the starting pitcher, recording a ground out, fly out and a strike out. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double in the top of the second inning.
“I was kind of sad and bummed I couldn’t get back in and keep going, but I’m glad I ended it with a strike out,” Riley said.
Jones also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a single in the second inning. He also pitched a scoreless fifth inning, giving up one hit.
“I thought I played pretty well,” Jones said. “I came out and pounded the strike zone. Got the hit and Caeden came in behind me and got a double.”
Firminhac went 2-for-2 with a ground-rule double in the third inning and a single in the seventh.
“I saw the ball pretty well today,” Firminhac said. “I did have an error at second that I could have done without. All around, it wasn’t horrible.”
The East All-Stars scored two runs in the first three innings, but the West countered with three runs in the second and third innings to tie the game at six apiece.
The West broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run, adding two runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth to pull away for the win.
The game gave Jones and Riley one more opportunity to don the Tiger black and orange and play with players they have played against their entire career.
“The experience was great, honestly. Playing with guys that I’ve played against my whole life is a cool experience. Getting to know them better,” Jones said. “You’re playing with and against guys who love the game of baseball and have a high IQ of the game.”
“It was awesome. The kids from Wheatland, Douglas and a couple of the other teams played against them my whole seven years I’ve been in Legion,” Riley added. “It was fun to get out here and play against all the competition throughout the state I’ve battled against. It was fun.”
Jones will be entering his sophomore season at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, playing on the basketball team, while Riley is considering an offer to play baseball at Miles City Community College in Montana, joining former Tiger Cameron Murphy.
The game also gave the younger players like Firminhac, who will be going into his junior year at Torrington High School, a chance to learn and improve for next season while playing with some of the best players Wyoming has to offer.
“It was a great experience. It was fun to be in the same dugout as these guys for once. I’m glad I got to participate in the first one,” Firminhac said. “You can learn a lot from everyone else that you play with and against. There were some really great guys here.”
Free baseball clinics scheduled
Tiger manager Rob Mortimore will be conducting free baseball clinics to all American Legion aged players for the 2022 season every Monday and Tuesday, beginning Monday, Aug. 9 at the Torrington Sports Complex.
Clinics are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.