TORRINGTON – The Torrington senior Legion baseball team scored its first conference win of the season Tuesday evening, splitting with the Cheyenne Hawks at Dean Bullock Field.
The Tigers fell in game one 16-14 in 10 innings before rebounding with a 4-0 victory in game two.
“Luckily for us, we came out on top in game two,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “After game one ended, obviously, I was a little worried about how we would respond. It’s the second time this year, that game one didn’t go our way, but the guys put it behind them and came out in game two and really took care of business.”
The marathon, which was game one, took all of four hours and two minutes to complete.
Bryce Hager and Matthew Hellus took advantage of the moved in outfield fence and the wind blowing out to left field with home runs.
Hager’s two-run bomb in the first inning gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, and Hellus’ leadoff homerun in the second tied the game at three. Both homeruns came on strike two pitches.
“For kids to compete in the strike zone in an at-bat and win it, it is a testament to where they are at,” Mortimore said. “It was nice to see the home run come back into play at the complex. It’s a big part of the game that we haven’t seen in several years.”
From there, the teams matched each other run for run until the 10th inning.
Torrington’s big inning came in the bottom of the fifth. Cheyenne issued four walks, a hit by pitch and multiple errors allowed the Tigers to plate four runs and tie the game at 11.
By that point, Deagan Keith was on the mound in relief. He went 3 2/3 innings, striking out three, not allowing an earned run in the outing.
“We stress throwing strikes. Jackson threw well, but it really started with Deagan coming in and changing speeds and from the left-handed side, it keeps teams off balance,” Mortimore said. “Deagan has proven the last couple years he pounds the strike zone. He got us through several innings where it could have gotten out of hand. Austin came in after him and did the same thing.”
In the seventh, Cheyenne scored two runs to go in front 13-11, but Torrington kept its hopes alive with two runs on a fielder’s choice.
The Tigers left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings, while having runners in scoring position in the ninth and 10th innings.
Jones ended game one 5-of-6 at the plate with four runs scored and three RBIs. His five hits equaled half of the team’s hits in the loss.
In game two, all the offense came in the bottom of the first inning.
A leadoff single by Keith, followed by another hit from Jones, a double by Ben Firminhac and Beau Bivens gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
The teams tallied 15 straight outs between the second and fourth innings, and a leadoff single by Bivens in the fourth ended the streak of consecutive outs.
Cheyenne never managed to get the bats going in the second game.
Starting pitcher Caeden Riley struck out 11, giving up only two hits and a walk through 6 1/3 innings of work on 78 pitches.
The Hawks never threatened offensively until the top of the seventh inning, but Cheyenne was caught trying to steal third out to close out the game.
Bivens paced the Torrington offense with two hits, while Firminhac’s double drove in three runs.
The Tigers (2-5 overall and 1-3 in the ‘A’ Southeast Conference) host the Dean Bullock Memorial Tournament Friday and Saturday. Torrington will face Green River at 4 p.m. and Alliance, Neb. at 7 p.m. Friday. The next day, the Tigers will face Buffalo at 3 p.m. and Douglas at 6 p.m.