CASPER – The Torrington Tiger junior Legion team closed out the season with a 1-2 trip to the ‘C’ Legion State Tournament at the Washington Park Baseball Field in Casper last week.
The Tigers opened the weekend as the top seed from the Southeast region, but fell 13-6 to the No. 2 seed from the Northwest, Lovell.
Lovell jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and its lead grew to 6-2 after two.
In the second inning, Bodie Moffat and Nolan Long scored runs for the Tigers.
The Tigers also got runs in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, while Lovell didn’t score again after the third inning.
The loss dropped Torrington to an elimination game against Jackson, who limited the Tigers from the state tournament a year prior.
This time, it was the Tigers turn, knocking off Jackson, 7-6 in a walk-off victory.
“Every inning we battled back. They were excited to be out there, and it showed,” Tiger coach Bryce Hill said. “Like I’ve told them from the start of the year, if you give 110 percent on every play, look what happens. Just the hustle and heart in these kids is amazing.”
A Moffat double in the bottom of the first gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the top of the third when Jackson pushed a pair of runs across.
Jackson added runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a 6-5 lead heading to the seventh inning.
Matthew Hellus jumpstarted the offense with a one-out single, later stealing second. Mac Hibben doubled, scoring Hellus and tying the game at six.
“We needed a hit, and he rakes a double,” Hill said of Hibben. “Talk about smooth and calm under pressure.”
Ayden Desmond singled, putting runners at the corners with only one out. Moffat followed it up with a single, driving in Hibben to score the game-winning run.
“Timely hitting was the biggest thing today. Putting balls in the gaps and making contact when you have winds blowing 40 mph,” Hill said.
Bryce Hager, Keyan Sargent and Brady Cook were featured on the mound. Cook was the winning pitcher of record.
“Pitching was phenomenal. Bryce Hager went out and threw very well. Keyon went out and threw absolutely amazing. Then Brady Cook came in and closed it out,” Hill said. “You can’t ask anymore from your pitchers than that.”
The win advanced the Tigers to another elimination game on Friday morning against Cody.
“They don’t want to be done,” Hill said. “A lot of these kids are in their final year down here and the fight these guys have is just phenomenal.”
Cody went on to defeat the Tigers 11-8 and finish runner up at the state tournament.
Heading to the sixth inning, Torrington led Cody 8-4. The frame was highlighted by a Keyan Sargent three-run home run. Brady Cook also scored in the inning.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Cody answered with five runs to retake the lead.
Torrington had runners at first and second in the top of the seventh when Cody recorded the final out of the game.
Cody went on to reach the championship, falling 20-18 to Casper.