TORRINGTON – The Torrington senior Legion baseball team went 1-5 last week with the Tigers’ only victory coming on Saturday afternoon against the Powell Pioneers at the annual Bolln Memorial Wood Bat Tournament in Douglas.
“We certainly didn’t have our best effort most days, but it wasn’t all negative,” coach Kyle Nighswonger said. “We saw a lot of positives.”
The week started with a sweep at the hands of Spearfish (S.D.) Post 164 on Wednesday, July 10.
In game one, Spearfish jumped out to an 8-0 lead en route to a 16-1, five-inning victory.
Nick Sherbeyn and Sam Firminhac collected only two hits, while the defense committed five errors.
Torrington’s lone run came in the bottom of the second.
Gage Correa and Ben Firminhac walked, and Sherbeyn drove in the Tigers’ only run of the game with a single.
Starting pitcher Jackson Jones was tagged with the loss in two innings worked, striking out one.
Game two, the visiting Post 164, again, jumped out to an early 5-1 through two innings.
Spearfish scored three in the top of the first, but it didn’t take long for the Tigers who countered with a run of their own.
Sherbeyn led off the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single and later came around to score on an RBI groundout by Sam Firminhac.
Torrington added two more in the home half of the fourth with two more runs. Ben Firminhac walked, Deagan Keith was hit by a pitch and a hit by Sherbeyn drove in two more runs, cutting the Spearfish lead to 6-3.
The score remained the same until the seventh, when Post 164 plated two more runs, but in the bottom of the frame, Torrington loaded the bases with a double and a pair of walks.
Sam Firminhac reached on a fielder’s choice, driving in what proved to be the final run of the game.
Sherbyen went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIS, while Sam Firminhac was credited with the loss, striking out two over 2 1/3 innings.
On Friday, July 12, the Tigers opened the Bolln Tournament in Douglas with an ‘A’ West Conference opponent in the Riverton Rangers, falling 8-4.
Riverton held a slim 3-2 advantage until the top of the seventh.
“For the first time all year, we had some of the best pitching performances, in terms of being in the strike zone and pitching efficiently,” Nighswonger said. “We threw the ball well, throwing strikes.”
The Raiders plated five in the top of final inning, pushing their lead to 8-2.
Torrington got two runs back and no more before Riverton recorded the final out of the game.
Cameron Murphy and Sam Firminhac tallied singles, and Caeden Riley reached on an error.
Firminhac went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Murphy added two more hits.
Riley took the loss, striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings.
Later that afternoon, Torrington struck first in the top of the opening frame in a 4-1 loss to Sturgis, S.D.
Three Sturgis errors aided the Tigers in the first. One of the errors brought in Sam Firminhac who reached base on a fielder’s choice.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth.
Sturgis tied the game with a two-out single. It was the start of four unanswered runs over the final three innings.
Sturgis plated two in the fifth and one in the sixth. During that same stretch, Torrington had five base runners reach, all were left stranded, including leaving the bases loaded in the top of the sixth.
Jones and Correa were 2-for-3 for the game. Murphy went the distance for the Tigers, striking out one in the loss.
“We got a lot of guys on base,” Nighswonger said. “We left 20-25 on base on Friday in our two games, and we lost by a total of eight runs.”
On Saturday, the Tigers defeated Powell 9-6.
“We came out and put the bat on the ball. We were aggressive on the base pads. I bet we had close to seven or eight steals,” Nighswonger said. “We did a lot of things that we needed to do to win the game. We got timely hitting. We got bunts down to move runners over. Sam lived in the zone and threw the ball well.”
Eight of the 10 Tiger batters who tallied an at-bat, collected at least one hit in the win. Riley led the way with a 2-for-4 day, while Sam Firminhac struck out two over four innings of work.
“It finally all came together to give us a little momentum,” Nighswonger said. “Turns out that wasn’t the case.”
Sunday, Torrington concluded the tournament with a 11-1 loss to the Douglas Cats in four innings.
A sacrifice fly by Jones scored Sherbeyn, who was hit by pitch to begin the game.
Douglas countered with six runs in the bottom of the first. The Cats added three more in the second and two more in the fourth.
The Tigers (8-21 overall and 4-8 in the ‘A’ East Conference) will wrap up the regular season this week with conference road games at Wheatland on Wednesday at 5 and 7 p.m. and at Cheyenne on Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m.
“These are the games that certainly matter,” Nighswonger said. “We control our own destiny. It’s a good spot to be in where we aren’t necessarily relying on someone else to fail for us to get in.”