TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers took a leap forward Tuesday evening in a dominating 17-2 victory over Sidney, Neb., at Dean Bullock Field.
In what was supposed to be a single, nine-inning contest, Torrington polished off the visitors in six innings.
“There was vast improvement, both mentally and physically, out in the field today,” coach Kyle Nighswonger said. “Compared to two days ago, it’s leaps and bounds better. The mental errors we had in games one and two weren’t there tonight. We had a couple physical errors, but that’s part of the game.”
A leadoff walk came around to score in the first inning for Sidney, but the rest of the game belonged to the Tigers. It proved to be the only lead of the game for the visitors.
“I’m really happy with how the game played out, how the boys worked hard, how they played together and got a big dub,” Nighswonger said.
In the bottom of the first inning, Sam Firminhac and Dylan Dreiling connected on RBI singles to give Torrington a 2-1 advantage.
Dreiling proved to be a force on the mound, as well.
He went five innings, surrendering only two runs – both were a result of leadoff walks.
“Dylan Dreiling came in and threw an absolute great game,” Nighswonger said. “He had a couple innings where he started with a first-batter walk. Those two innings, they ended up scoring runs. It becomes fairly important to not allow those first hitters of the inning to walk.”
With a 4-2 lead, Torrington exploded for eight runs in the home half of the fourth, sending 11 batters to the plate.
“It’s good to see a lot of work come together. You get some of our younger guys that are seeing some playing time at the Legion level for the first time this year starting to get some base knocks and building some confidence,” Nighswonger said. “Top to bottom, everyone hit the ball well and saw the ball well. We were aggressive on the base pads.”
In the sixth inning, Caeden Riley came in to close out the game.
“Caeden Riley came in for an inning and didn’t even give them a chance,” Nighswonger said. “He had a strike out and a couple easy outs in the field. That’s all we needed.”
The win moved the Tigers to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the ‘A’ East Conference. Torrington now has a week to prepare for Douglas.
“As the days go on, and we play a few games, it brings out what we need to work on. There is always something,” Nighswonger said. “A couple of our boys are banged up right now, so we’ll use it get a little healthier and get back into the swing of things.”
The Cats (1-6 and 0-0) come to town on Tuesday, May 21 for a 6 and 8 p.m. doubleheader.
“We are going to have to come out strong against Douglas,” Nighswonger said. “They are tough, really tough.”