TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tiger senior Legion baseball team split non-conference games with Douglas and Laramie over the weekend, while the B team picked up a pair of wins over the two teams.
“Coming away with three wins with guys that we play with regularly is big for us confidence-wise, and moving forward, it’s a sign that we are starting to get things figured out,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said.
On Friday, the senior team defeated Douglas, 12-10.
Torrington fended off a late-game rally by the Cats.
Torrington grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Matthew Hellus single.
Douglas scored the next three runs before Tigers poured on four runs in the third inning and five runs in the third to take a 10-5 lead.
“We kind of expected it to be based on both of our conference schedules alignment. We threw guys earlier in the week that keep the runs down,” Mortimore said. “We knew we were going to have to score some runs and they were going to put up some runs. It was a matter of coming down and making the plays defensively when we had the opportunities.”
Each team scored two runs apiece in the fifth before Douglas plated three in the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, Ben Firminhac came on to close the game out to record a three up, three down frame.
Starter Bryce Hager was credited with the victory in 3 2/3 innings. At the plate, Hellus, Ryder Hackbarth and Nolan Long went 2-for-3 at the plate, combing for four RBIs.
The next day, Torrington fell to the AA Laramie Rangers, 10-2.
“Laramie is a really good team. They have conference games against Gillette, and if they win those, they are looking at a No. 2 in AA,” Mortimore said. “They are one of the top-tier teams in the highest level of baseball in the state of Wyoming.”
Both Tiger runs came in the bottom of the fourth.
Austin Short reached on a Laramie error, while Aidyn Saucedo and Deagan Keith singled to bring in the only runs of the game.
By the time the two runs came across, Torrington trailed 6-0.
Laramie added four more runs over the final three innings to pull away for the victory.
Riley was tagged with the loss, striking out four over 2 2/3 innings.
Offensively, Keith, Hellus and Saucedo tallied the team’s only hits of the game.
“It gave us an idea of where we stand and gave us something to strive for. It had the guys’ eyes opened,” Mortimore said. “It didn’t seem like it was that bad of a ballgame. We had some opportunities we didn’t take advantage of and they took advantage of a couple errors early. It was good for our guys to see that level of talent and get an idea of where we need to be. Ultimately, that’s the level of talent we are going to see at districts and state.”
B team picks up weekend sweep
The Tiger B team picked up a 7-2 victory over Douglas a 9-3 win over Laramie over the weekend.
Against Douglas, Long went the distance for the Tigers. He struck out one, while allowing only one hit over seven innings on 75 pitches.
“Nolan came out and threw against Douglas on Friday and threw a gem,” Mortimore said. “He competed in the strike zone and put the ball in play.”
Douglas scored first in the top of the first inning, but by the third inning, the Torrington bats came alive.
Singles by Keith, Short and Saucedo, and a Hager double gave Torrington a 3-1 advantage in third.
The Tigers got additional runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away for the win.
Short and Saucedo went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Keith went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Tiger offense.
Saturday’s B game against Laramie was much the same.
“(Deagan and Ben) competed in the strike zone, and we were much better defensively,” Mortimore said. “We had just enough offense to expand the lead late to put it away in the bottom of the sixth.”
Torrington put up five runs in the first two innings to take a 5-2 lead.
The Tigers battled through 10 errors in the win in a game which teams combined for 15 errors.
The heart of the Torrington lineup got it done at the plate as Firminhac, Hager and Hellus combined for six hits and six runs scored.
Firminhac got the win in five innings of work.
The Tigers have a busy first half of the week before taking the weekend off for the July 4 holiday.
Torrington hosted Chadron, Nebraska on Tuesday and travels to Buffalo on Wednesday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
“Some very winnable games for us coming up that we need to take advantage of and get some solid reps and come out and play crisp baseball,” Mortimore said.