CASPER – The Torrington Tiger junior American Legion baseball team saw the season come a close on a hot Thursday afternoon at Mike Lansing Field in Casper at the ‘C’ Legion State Tournament.
The younger Tiger squad went 0-2, falling 15-12 to Cody in the opening round.
All 15 of Cody’s runs came in the first three innings.
During that time frame, Torrington used five pitchers, but the Tigers put themselves in a position for a come-from-behind win.
In the seventh inning, Torrington had two on base with the tying run at the plate, but the Tigers couldn’t bring them home.
The loss dropped Torrington to an elimination game on Thursday against the Jackson Giants.
The day before, Jackson was forced to forfeit its opening round game after it was discovered by the host, Casper Barons, that Jackson had two 16-year-old female players on its roster who had played with the Giants all season, playing in a 15-and-under division.
Torrington looked to strike first inning, but ultimately, starting pitcher Ben Firminhac was stranded at third.
Unfortunately, Jackson pounced first with three runs in the bottom of the first en route to a 7-6 win.
“We had a shot at this one,” coach Ben Desmond said. “I don’t think we could have done anything different.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to respond in the top of the second inning.
Matthew Hellus led off the frame with a single. Nolan Long, Austin Short and Firminhac added hits, while Bodie Moffatt and Ayden Desmond reached on walks to aid a four-run frame.
Leading 4-3, Torrington added a run in the fourth.
Short led off the inning with a single and later came around to score on a Jackson error.
Jackson chipped away at the Tiger lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at five.
The score remained 5-5 until the top of the seventh when Hellus drove in Bryce Hager on a sacrifice fly to put the Tigers back in front 6-5.
In the home half of the inning, Firminhac returned to the mound for the final inning, going for a complete-game victory.
“We rode Ben out,” Desmond said. “They just found holes. That was a tough last inning.”
A leadoff walk, single and a double steal put Jackson runners at second and third with no out. Jackson followed it up with a walk-off single to steal a 7-6 win, ending the Torrington season.
“Our kids played great. They were hustling, diving,” Desmond said. “We had a couple tiny mistakes, but this last inning was tough. You have to be able to shut them down, but we couldn’t do it.”
The Tigers closed the season with a 23-13 record.
“It was a good experience for the younger kids,” Desmond said. “We are looking forward to next year. We’ve got those (Torrington Little League) All-Stars coming up, and they will help.”