Tigers sweep Cats; split with Lobos


TORRINGTON – The Torrington senior Legion baseball team returned to conference Saturday and Monday evening, playing Douglas and Wheatland.

After splitting with Douglas earlier in the week, the Tigers found a way to get it done at home.

On Saturday evening, the Tigers swept the Douglas Cats 6-2 and 7-5.

“That was big,” Tiger coach Sam Firminhac said. “That’s what we are going to need to do. We need these conference sweeps if we a good seeding for the district tournament.”

Game one featured a pitcher’s duel for the first four and a half innings.

The teams combined for only four hits until the bottom of the fifth inning.

“I knew we’d stay in it, and the bats were sleeping the first four or five innings,” Firminhac said. “Ayden (Desmond) threw a great game. We knew he was going to throw up some zeros on the scoreboard, and we just had to get a few (runs). We were able to push some across at the end.”

Bryce Hager was hit by a pitch before Douglas recorded two straight outs. Then the top of the Tiger lineup started swinging.

Aidyn Sauecdo and Austin Short tallied back-to-back doubles to break the stalemate. Ben Firminhac walked, and Ayden Desmond singled. An infield single by Matthew Hellus loaded the bases and a passed ball drove in Torrington’s four run of the inning before Douglas recorded the final out of the frame.

Douglas cut the deficit in half in the top of the sixth, but an error and a second double by Short pushed the Tiger lead back to four.

Desmond went the distance for the Tigers on the mound, striking out six and surrendering only five hits over seven innings.

Short was 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs, while Desmond was 2-for-3.

In game two, Douglas took advantage of three Torrington errors, jumping out to a 2-0 lead.

“They came out like they did like they did at their place with two quick runs in the first,” Firminhac said. “I was proud of the way we responded. We didn’t play as well in the field in the second game, but that’ll happen.”

It wasn’t until the bottom of the second when the Tigers got the offense going.

“At the beginning of the year, we’d let it snowball, but I’m proud how we came back and made plays,” Firminhac said.

Deagan Keith led off the inning with a walk. Brady Cook and Grady Shields tallied singles before Short tripled, driving in three and giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Firminhac followed it up with an RBI single.

It was a lead which Torrington never gave up the rest of the game.

They added runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 7-2 lead into the seventh.

Douglas threatened, scoring two and having the bases loaded with two out. Short struck out Cameryn Spence to end the game.

Nolan Long picked up the win in three innings of work. He struck out three and was one of four pitcher used in the game.

“To have all those guys throw so well – Austin, (Deagan), Bryce and Nolan,” Firminhac said. “We had four guys go out there, and we kept them under 45 (pitches) so we could throw them again on Monday against Wheatland.”

Desmond was 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Short was 2-for-4 at the plate. Hager and Cook also had two hits each.

On Monday, the Tigers returned to conference action, splitting a home doubleheader against the Wheatland Lobos, winning game one 11-6 but falling in game two 9-8.

In game one, Wheatland had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth before Torrington scored its first run of the game.

Firminhac got the bats going with a ground-rule double. Hellus and Keith singled, driving in Firminhac.

The Lobos regained the lead in the top of the fifth, adding two more runs in the top of the sixth, extending the led to 4-1.

The Tigers exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth.

A Wheatland error got the ball rolling, allowing Hellus to reach second base. Keith singled, followed by a second Lobo error. Walks were issued to Mac Hibben, Grady Shields and Saucedo, tying the game at four apiece.

Short put the Tigers in front 5-4 with a single. A third Wheatland error of the inning made it 6-4. Hellus, Keith, Greiman and Hibben also added singles to push the lead to 11-4 heading into the seventh.

Wheatland got two of those runs back before they left two runners in scoring position before Torrington recorded the final out of the game.

Hellus and Keith went 3-for-4 at the plate and combined for four runs scored and four RBIs. Landre Greiman went 2-for-4.

Short picked up the win for the Tigers, striking out four over six innings.

In game two, the Lobos grabbed a 6-0 lead after two and a half innings.

It wasn’t until Firminhac’s RBI single in the bottom of the third when Torrington finally got on the scoreboard.

The Tigers spent the rest of the game chipping away at the deficit.

Torrington scored at least one run the remainder of the game with two runs coming in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Short made it a one-run game with two out, and Firminhac walked to put two runners on.

However, a pop fly in foul territory was hauled in by the diving Wheatland catcher to end the comeback hopes of the Tigers.

Friminhac went 4-for-4 at the plate, while Short and Hager added two apiece.

Long took the loss, striking out one in two innings.

Torrington, the winner of 10 of their last 12 games, heads to the Alliance, Nebraska tournament this weekend, beginning Wednesday and wrapping up on Sunday.

They open with games at noon and 7:15 against Sidney, Nebraska and Alliance, respectively, on Wednesday. On Thursday, June 23, the Tigers face York, Nebraska at 7:15 p.m. On Saturday, June 25, Torrington squares off with Broken Bow, Nebraska at 2:45. The team wraps up action against McCook, Nebraska at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday.

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