GILLETTE – The Torrington senior American Legion baseball fell to 1-3 in conference play, with a pair of losses to the Gillette Rustlers over the weekend, as the Tigers hit the road for the first time in 2019.
Gillette jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning en route to a 17-5 victory.
“It wasn’t ideal – the outcomes nor the conditions that we played in,” coach Kyle Nighswonger said. “We played a game and unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top.”
In the top of the second, Sam Firminhac led off the frame with a walk and came around to score on a Gabe Mitchell single.
The Rustlers countered with three runs of their own in the home half of the inning, but another leadoff walk by Deagan Keith who came around to score when Jackson Jones grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Torrington continued to chip away at the deficit in the top of the fourth with yet another lead off walk. Caeden Riley walked and later scored on Gage Correa on a single. Later in the inning, Correa scored, and Nick Sherbeyn scored on wild pitch.
Shortly after that, the game went into a weather delay.
“We were climbing back into the game and unfortunately, we had a weather delay for about an hour to hour and a half,” Nighswonger said. “When we came back out, we didn’t take care of things and had some things not go our way. Playing baseball in less than ideal conditions sure didn’t help anything.”
Once play resumed, the Tigers surrendered 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Tigers were unable to produce any runs of their own in the top of the fifth, ending the game due to the 10-run rule.
“They had one big inning and that was the difference in that one,” Nighswonger said.
Correa went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored, while Sherbeyn was 1-for-1 with two walks. Cameron Murphy was tagged with the loss, striking out four and walking four over 3 1/3 innings.
The second game of the doubleheader never happened.
“Game two was not played due to a forfeit on our end,” Nighswonger said. “Unfortunately, we had some disciplinary issues that did not allow us to partake in that game.”
He wouldn’t elaborate any further, but the coach hopes it can serve as a wakeup call to the team.
“I sure hope it plays out to be that way. There is only one of two ways it can go. I certainly hope it’s a wakeup call that gets them thinking about future games. As of right now, we are 1-3 in conference play. We are trying to dig ourselves out of the cellar.”
The Tigers return home Wednesday to host the Cheyenne Hawks. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
“We are going to have to put in a few days of hard practice and get our minds back focused on baseball again,” Nighswonger said. “Hopefully, we’ll come out and play some of our best baseball of the year. We have to come out ready from pitch number one of game number one.”