TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers 15-and-under baseball team won the first game of a home double-header Tuesday against Glenrock, 13-3, before falling in the second game, 11-9.
“The first game went really well. We played baseball,” coach Brice Hill said. “The second game we had a few minor problems, but nothing major. Like I said, we are just preparing for the state tournament. These games right now are just warming us up for those days.”
The Knights took a two-run advantage in the top of the first and the Tigers rebounded with a run in the bottom of the second, with Kirk Kay touching all four bases. Glenrock pinned another run onto its total in the third to go up 3-1, but the Tigers exploded at the plate in the third inning.
Dylan Dreiling and Cordell Forkner each scored twice in the frame, with Aidyn Saucedo, Ryder Hackbarth, Degan Keith, Ben Firminhac, Austin Short and Keyan Sargent all scoring in the frame. Torrington added another two runs in the fourth with Hackbarth and Dreiling both coming around to score again.
When the dust settled after the first game, Dreiling had a standout game, going 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs. Hackbarth scored twice on four hits, while Forkner added another three base knocks. Sargent pitched all four innings for the Tigers.
Similar to the first game, the Knights started off the second contest of the night with two runs in the top of the first, but Torrington quickly rebounded in the bottom of the frame with three runs to take a 3-2 advantage. Kay, Dreiling and Forkner all scored in the first frame. Glenrock did not allow Torrington to enjoy its lead for too long, scoring seven runs in the second to go up 9-3.
Torrington started chipping away at the Glenrock lead in the third inning, scoring four runs. Saucedo, Hackbarth and Dreiling all scored on a three-RBI double by Forkner. Firminhac crossed the plate later in the frame to cut the lead to 9-7. Keith touched home plate in the fourth inning to continue trimming the lead, putting the score at 9-8.
Glenrock tacked on two runs in the top of the fifth and one run in the bottom of the frame by the home team was not enough to make up the difference, giving the Tigers the 11-9 loss.
Several Tigers saw action on the mound in the second game. Kay, Short, Dreiling and Forkner all toed the rubber for Torrington in the five-inning matchup.
“Tonight, we ran into a bunch of guys who were tired from the weekend but all-in-all, they held their own,” Hill said. “A lot of it is just trying to get guys reps. Every game is just preparing for the state tournament in July. The more reps we get these guys now, the better off they will be when we get to state.”
The Tigers had several runners reach base, but weren’t able to bring enough of them around to home.
“The hitting looked pretty well,” Hill said. “It’s just fundamental baseball. We had situations where the bases were loaded and we striked out. Those are things you can’t have. In the big picture, our hitting was very well. From 1-9, we were hitting the ball well.”
DH vs. Laramie
Following the two games Tuesday, the Tigers hosted Laramie Wednesday in a double-header, winning the first game but falling in the second.
The Tigers kicked off the day with two runs in the first inning after a Ranger score in the top of the frame. Saucedo and Dreiling both scored in the first. Laramie scored in the fourth to tie the game at two apiece, but Torrington came alive at the plate in the fifth. Saucedo scored his second run of the contest, with Kay, Short, Sargent all scoring as well.
Firminhac and Kay both crossed home plate in the sixth to push the Torrington advantage to 8-2. Laramie scored again in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to make up the difference, giving Torrington the 8-3 win.
Heading into the second game, the Tigers picked up where they left off, blanking the Rangers in the top of the frame before Saucedo, Firminhac and Dreiling all scoring in the first. Laramie put the pedal to the metal in the second, batting around the order and plating eight runs in the frame to take an 8-3 lead. Firminhac and Sargent scored in the second but the Rangers notched another seven runs in the third to go up 15-3. After the Tigers were blanked in the third inning, the game was called.
“That second game, we kind of ran out of pitching and their arms were sore, but you can’t blame the game on that,” Hill said. “Mentally, they just weren’t there that second game. The biggest thing is they just aren’t that mentally tough in the second game and they are lethargic.”
The Tigers now sit at 10-4 on the year. They return to action Wednesday in a road double-header against Gering, Neb., with games at 6 and 8 p.m.
“For a first-year coach, I’m pleased,” Hill said of where the team is at at this point in the season. “To be 10-4 with a team that never coached together and hardly played together, 10-4 is a pretty dang good record.”