TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers senior Legion team extended its win streak to seven in a row after winning all four games at the second annual Dean Bullock Memorial Tournament Thursday and Friday.
The Tigers picked up wins over Douglas, Severance, Colo., Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Laramie.
“Things came together, and the guys started playing some really good baseball. It was exciting to see, especially under the circumstances of what the weekend meant, as far as the dedication of the field and the people we had in attendance that have done a lot for Torrington baseball,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “For them to come out and play the way they did, it’s a true testament to their character and what they mean to Torrington baseball.”
Over the four-game stretch, Torrington got season-best performances from many players on the Tiger roster.
“It was probably the best teams we’ve seen thus far, outside of maybe Casper. For us to walk away with four wins definitely shows we are improving. We saw a lot of good things. The offense came together especially on Friday afternoon against Laramie,” Mortimore said. “There are things we still need to work on, obviously, but for my guys to get four wins this weekend was huge for them confidence-wise.”
Torrington 13, Douglas 8
On Thursday morning, the Tigers didn’t waste any time jumping on the Cats in the tournament opener.
Nick Sherbeyn led off the bottom of the inning with a with a walk, while Cameron Murphy doubled to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Sam Firminhac and Gage Correa tallied back-to-back singles to make it 3-0.
Torrington scored at least one run in each of the five innings, but Douglas battled back to tie the game at 8 apiece heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Murphy led off the frame with an infield single and moved to third on a Firminhac single.
A double steal put the Tigers back in front 9-8.
The Tigers added runs from, Firminhac, Jackson Jones, Deagan Keith and Caeden Riley to put away the Cats as the two-hour time limit was reached with one out.
Torrington collected 16 hits, at least one from each player. Murphy and Tristan Kingsley tallied three hits apiece and combined for six RBIs.
Keith was credited for the win, pitching the fifth inning.
Torrington 3, Severance 2
On Thursday afternoon, the Tigers scored a walk-off victory over Severance in a pitchers dual.
Severance plated the first run of the game after back-to-back two-out walks and single, but Torrington tied the game in the bottom of the second when a Severance error sent Keith across home plate.
The score remained tied at 1 until the fourth inning when a Severance double steal broke made it 2-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tiger catcher Gabe Mitchell was hit by a pitch. He was moved to second on a groundout. Mitchell scored on a double by Sherbyen.
Sherbeyn stole third, but the throw from the Severance catcher ended up in the outfield, allowing Sherbeyn to score and the Tigers to pick up the win.
“We’ve been preaching to stay in games, and that’s what our guys do,” Mortimore said. “They continue to battle no matter what happens. We saw it Thursday with a couple late runs to win games.”
Murphy was 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Tiger offense. Firminhac was credited with the win, pitching the seventh inning, striking out one.
Torrington 5, Rocky Mountain 3
Saturday morning the Tigers officially renamed their field Bullock Field in honor Dean Bullock prior to the game against Rocky Mountain, who is led by Dean’s brother Scott Bullock.
After a scoreless first inning, Torrington was first on the scoreboard.
Keith was hit by a pitch and later scored on a single by Blake Lofink.
But it was the arm of Murphy carrying the Tigers.
“Cameron came out and set the tone against Rocky Mountain. He threw probably the best game of the year so far. It was nice to see him take ownership of that and throw the team on his back.”
The Lobos plated a run in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-1 lead, but Torrington answered in the bottom of the fifth. In the inning, the Tiger bats started to heat up.
Murphy singled. Firminhac tripled. Jones and Keith added singles. Riley walked, and Mitchell was hit. Mix in a wild pitch, Torrington added four runs to take a 5-2 lead heading to the sixth.
Rocky Mountain added one in the sixth before being retired in order in the seventh.
Jones went 2-for-4 at the plate, while Murphy went the distance, striking out nine Lobo batters over seven innings of work on 100 pitches – 68 of which were called strikes.
“I got out there just looking to throw strikes and pound the zone with mainly fastballs,” Murphy said. “It’s always good to get wins especially at home. Laramie is a double A team, and it’s always a great win and Rocky Mountain being 5A in Colorado.”
Torrington 14, Laramie 2
The Tigers closed out the tournament in dominating fashion with a 14-2 win over the ‘AA’ Laramie Rangers.
Laramie struck first with a win in the top of the second, but in the bottom of the third, the Tiger offense started clicking once again.
Mitchell was hit for the second time on Friday and it sparked a three-run frame.
Lofink and Jones added singles, while Sherbeyn laid down a sacrifice bunt. Murphy added a walk, giving the Torrington a 3-1 lead.
The Tigers kept the offense surge going into the fourth, adding 11 runs.
Laramie got one back in the top of the seventh, but it proved to be not enough as the game ended with the run rule.
Lofink went 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and three runs scored, while Mitchell, Jones, Murphy and Sherbeyn added two hits each.
“We have a lot of good hitters,” Jones said. “We started slow, but we are getting going now. It’s not just the top. Everyone can hit, and that’s really big for us.”
Jones earned the win, striking out four over five innings on 75 pitches.
“Coach just tells us what we need to do, and all we need to do is throw strikes.” Jones said. “Pitchers, we throw strikes and we know we are going to get it done. We trust (the defense). Our guys are going to get it done behind us.”
The Tigers (9-5 overall and 2-0 in the ‘A’ Southeast) return to conference play on Wednesday when they travel to Cheyenne to face the Hawks (6-5 and 0-0).
“It’s huge,” Jones said of what the wins did for the team’s confidence. “Winning the Riverton tournament and now winning our own tournament, we feel like we can play against anybody.”