POWELL – The Torrington Tigers picked up wins two and three in a row Monday and Tuesday as they continue to battle back through the consolation side of the double-elimination bracket at the ‘A’ State Legion Baseball Tournament.
One thing was different in these two games compared to the first two – Torrington held early leads.
“That’s been a key for us, basically this whole season,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “If you look at the tournaments we had success in and the doubleheaders we had success in, if we come out early and put runs up, it gives us a little boost and we build on that. The slow starts are something we are trying to eliminate and overcome.”
On Monday afternoon, the Tigers defeated and eliminated tournament-host Powell 7-3 and scored revenge on Tuesday afternoon against Cody to the tune of an 11-2 win.
Torrington 7, Powell 3
For the first time in the tournament, Torrington was the first team to plate a run.
Tiger shortstop Sam Firminhac drove in the game’s first run with a one-out single.
The lead was short-lived as the Powell Pioneers plated three in the home half of the first.
Firminhac picked up right where he left off in the second inning. With the bases loaded, the senior shortstop tripled, driving in three runs. Left fielder Tristian Kingsley followed the hit up with a double to give the Tigers a 6-3 advantage.
Only one more run scored over the final five innings.
In the top of the fifth inning third baseman Caeden Riley singled, bringing home what proved to be the final run of the game.
Over the final two innings, only five additional batters reached base and only one made it into scoring position.
Torrington pounded out 15 hits in the win – three apiece from Riley and Gage Correa and two each from Firminhac, Kingsley, Blake Lofink and Nick Sherbeyn.
Tiger pitcher Jackson Jones earned the win, working six innings, striking out five.
The win setup a rematch with the Cody Cubs.
Torrington 11, Cody 2
Because Cody was the last undefeated team in the tournament, and with Torrington and Casper having one loss each, Cody was bound for the state championship game no matter the result of Tuesday’s game with Torrington.
In the first inning, each team tallied a hit, but in the top of the second inning, Torrington exploded for four runs.
“It was great for our guys to come out and get that done today,” Mortimore said. “We put up that four spot, and it really set the tone.”
Jones led off with a walk. Riley singled, and the duo were moved over a base on a sacrifice bunt by Correa.
Gabe Mitchell’s single drove in a pair. Lofink and Sherbeyn later scored in the inning to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Torrington added to its lead with RBI singles by Riley and Correa to make it 6-1 heading to the home half of the fifth.
Cody got a run back in the fifth on a two-out single, but Torrington added four more in the sixth to extend the lead to 10-2.
Over the final two innings, the Cubs managed to get only one more baserunner on, while Torrington capped off the win with a RBI single by Firminhac in the seventh.
Firminhac went 3-for-5 at the plate, while Sherbeyn, Jones, Riley and Correa added two more hits apiece as the Tigers collected a combined 14 hits.
“That’s huge. If you look at our lineup, we are pretty deep, and if everyone does what they are supposed to do, stays within themselves and plays their role, we are a tough team to beat,” Mortimore said. “Our motto the last several days has been: Win your at-bat and pass it on to the next guy.”
Dylan Dreiling picked up the win working 3 1/3 innings, striking out three. Deagan Keith closed out the win pitching the final 3 2/3 innings, striking out one.
“Dylan stepped up and did what he had to do on the mound,” Mortimore said. “Deagan came in, threw strikes, competed and allowed our defense to its job.”
Torrington will close out the season with another must-win contest against the Casper Crush late Wednesday morning. If they win, they will face Cody for the third time in the last five days for the state championship. Check back to next Wednesday’s Torrington Telegram for a final recap from the state tournament.
“We are obviously in the same boat as far as arms. It’s going to be the next man up on the mound, and we’ll piece it together. We are going to be asking guys who haven’t been up there a lot (on Wednesday) to throw strikes,” Mortimore said. “They are excited. This win carries us into tomorrow against Casper and then Cody again.”