POWELL – The Torrington Tiger season came to end just shy of the ultimate goal – bringing a state championship back to town.
After falling to the Cody Cubs in the opening round, the Tigers rattled off three wins in a row to reach championship Wednesday at the ‘A’ State Tournament in Powell.
The Tigers thrashed the eventual state champion, Cody, 11-2 on Tuesday afternoon to advance to the final day of the tournament.
Ultimately, the Casper Crush ended the run, handing the Tigers a 10-5 loss, ending the Torrington season.
“Heck of a run after losing that first round to win three straight and get Cody the day before the state championship day,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “It was big for our program. It was big for our kids.”
Torrington starting pitcher Sam Firminhac helped himself out in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Torrington held the lead until the third inning when Casper plated two runs, but things unraveled quickly for the Tigers in the fourth.
“We just kind of ran out of gas on Wednesday,” Mortimore said. “Looking back, there are some things I would do differently, but hindsight is one of those things.”
Casper plated six runs extending its lead to 8-1.
“That’s been our bug-a-boo about our season,” Mortimore said. “The games we’ve lost, if you look at them, we always have one inning where things get out of control and loose our heads a little bit. Whether it was one thing or another, we couldn’t get that third out in that inning.”
Casper added a run each in the fifth and sixth innings to push its lead to 10-1.
Finally, in the sixth, back-to-back walks by Tristan Kingsley and Caeden Riley sparked a three-run frame to cut into the deficit.
Torrington added a run on a Deagan Keith RBI single, but the team couldn’t extend the game any further.
“It speaks volumes of our kids,” Mortimore said. “We get down, and we continue to battle. That’s what we did all season. They battled through games all season no matter what the score was. The guys were aggressive and put the ball in play. We just couldn’t get anything to fall our way in the seventh.”
Nick Sherbeyn, Keith and Blake Lofink all tallied two hits apiece for the Tigers.
Firminhac was tagged with the loss, working 3 1/3 innings.
“Kudos to Sam for stepping up and making that start,” Mortimore said. “It was basically his second start of the year. He did exactly what we needed him to do, and Nick came in and did what he needed to do.”
The Tigers finished the season 27-16 and marked the end of the careers for Firmihac, Kingsley, Jackson Jones, Lofink, Cameron Murphy, Riley and Gage Correa.
“Those guys kept baseball alive in Torrington the last four years. When Torrington didn’t have a Legion program, they came in, stepped up and were playing at this level at 14, 15-years-old just to keep baseball alive. They’ve been through the riggers and held their heads high,” Mortimore said. “Two straight years of finishing in the top three in ‘A’ speaks volumes of these kids of their character and work ethic. As a community, we can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for Torrington baseball. They are not only great baseball players but great kids overall.”