Tiger rally comes up short at state
CODY – Down 5-0 with only six outs left in the opening round of the Wyoming ‘A’ State Legion Baseball Tournament, the Torrington Tiger offense finally came alive.
However, in the end, the late-game rally wasn’t enough as the tournament host Cody Cubs knocked off Torrington, 7-4.
“I’m proud of the way the guys battled,” Tiger coach Sam Firminhac said. “It can be tough when you’re down 5-0 with six outs to go, but we can make it a game anytime. It was good to see the fight in the kids.”
Going into the sixth inning, Torrington had only mustered one hit and a total of three base runners.
The Tigers’ first base runner came in the top of the third when right fielder Mac Hibben led off the frame with a walk. It was the first of two walks in the inning issued by Cody.
Starting pitcher Ayden Desmond reached on an error in the fourth, and Austin Short collected the team’s first hit with two out in the fifth.
Finally, in the sixth inning, left fielder Deagan Keith led off with walk, and catcher Ben Firminhac followed it up with a single. Desmond’s infield single drove in Torrington’s first run of the game. Hibben hit into a fielder’s choice, driving in a second Tiger run, while third baseman Matthew Hellus singled down the third base line to drive in another run. Short tallied his second hit of the game, brining around Hibben to cut the deficit to one at 5-4.
Unfortunately, it proved to be as close as Torrington came to seeing the lead for the remainder of the night. Cody capped off the game with two additional runs in the bottom of the sixth and limited the Tiger offense to only a two-out walk in the seventh.
On the defensive side of the game for Torrington, the Tigers struggled to record the third out through the first five innings of the game.
The Cubs did most of their damage with two out on the scoreboard. Through the first five frames, every Cody base runner and every Cub score came with two out on the scoreboard.
“We weren’t as sharp with two outs as we usually are,” Firminhac said. “It was tiny little mistakes like letting runners advance, just stuff like that. It’s stuff we can clean up for the rest of the tournament.”
It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth inning when Cody managed to get a base runner on with fewer than two outs.
Torrington ended the game with five hits. Short went 2-for-3 to lead the Tiger offense with an RBI. Hellus, Desmond and Firminhac recorded the only other hits for Torrington.
Desmond also went the distance for the Tigers on the mound. He struck out two, surrendering 10 hits and five earned runs.
“He threw well. This team hits the ball well. We knew they were going to hit the ball,” Firminhac said. “He threw a great game, and honestly, they didn’t have many hits on him. We just had one too many defensive mistakes to make up for it.”
Torrington (20-16) played the Lovell Mustangs (28-20) on Tuesday in an elimination game. Lovell lost its opening round game to the Sheridan Jets, 10-4.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen them in the past five years,” Firminhac said. “It’ll be nice to see someone from the other side of the state that we never see. We’re excited to get back out there and keep playing.”
Check back to Friday’s Telegram for more updates from the state tournament.