TORRINGTON – The Torrington senior Legion baseball team’s offense set off some early fireworks on Thursday, July 4 when the Tigers scored 12 runs in the bottom of the sixth to storm back from a 5-0 deficit to knock off the Douglas Cats 12-5 in the opening game of a conference doubleheader.
Tigers looked to get things going early in the home half of the first.
An infield single by outfielder Nick Sherbeyn, and a bunt single from pitcher Cameron Murphy, put two on, with no one out, but the Tigers were unable to do anything with it.
In the top of the second inning, the Cats plated the game’s first run, with a bases loaded walk.
Douglas added two more in the third and fifth innings to hold a 5-0 lead.
“We didn’t come out quite how we had hoped to,” coach Kyle Nighswonger said. “We had some mental errors that ended up giving them nearly every run they had.”
During that stretch, the Tigers had runners on base in each inning, but couldn’t get anyone home.
Finally, in the sixth, third baseman Jackson Jones led off the frame with a single. Shortstop Sam Firminhac and outfielder Tristen Kingsley reached base, to load up the bases. Second baseman Ben Firminhac followed that up with a single, driving in the Tigers first two runs of the game.
“We got the bats on the ball and started playing good defense,” Nighswonger said.
It was the first of 12 runs in the frame to storm back and take the victory.
All nine Torrington batters tallied at least one hit in the win. Jones went 3-for-4 at the plate, with two runs scored and an RBI. Sherbeyn, Murphy, Sam Firminhac, Gabe Mitchell and Deagan Keith added two hits apiece.
Keith was credited with the win, working 1 2/3 innings after replacing Murphy, who reached his pitch limit in the fifth inning.
“We threw the ball well. Cameron pitched good, again, for us,” Nighswonger said. “Deagan came in, threw well. He kept them off balance after Cameron threw to them.”
In game two, Douglas jumped out to a 6-0 lead through the first three innings, but the Tigers started their come back in the bottom of the fourth, only to come up short 11-6.
Just like in game one, it was Jones who led off the inning with a walk, while Sam Firminhac and Kingsley reached base courtesy of errors to bring home Jones. RBI ground outs by Keith and Mitchell drove in two more to cut the deficit in half.
Trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers continued to chip away at the deficit.
Murphy and Jones singled, and Sam Firminhac walked. Ben Firminhac drove in another run, reaching on a fielder’s choice.
With Ben Firminhac and Jones at the corners, a double steal cut the deficit to 6-5 before Douglas got out of the fifth.
“Game two, we were right back in it,” Nighswonger said. “Things are a little different with the pitch count rules, with what we can and can’t do. Sometimes you have to hold guys out there a little longer than you should because you don’t have the available arms that you need.”
Douglas countered with four runs in the top of sixth and one in the seventh to push the Cats’ lead to 11-5.
In the seventh, the Tigers got a walk from Jones and a triple from Sam Firminhac drove in what proved to be the final run of the game.
Sam Firminhac collected two of the Torrington’s four hits. Caeden Riley was tagged with the loss in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Tigers pick up forfeit wins over Laramie
Two days prior, the Tigers traveled to Laramie and split with Deputies only to come away with two wins.
Laramie was forced to forfeit both games and have dissolved their 2019 season. As a result, the wins will count towards the overall win total, but not the conference record.
“Laramie only had nine boys on their single A roster to begin with,” Nighswonger said. “They had one quite and had another either quite or get injured. They were pulling some other kids down. They lost a coach. They didn’t have anyone to get them around.”
The Tigers (7-16 overall and 4-8 in the East Conference) and will host Spearfish, S.D. on Wednesday, July 10 at 5 p.m.
“It’ll be a fun game. We saw Spearfish at the Laramie tournament,” Nighswonger said. “We’re hoping for a couple good games. I’m glad we were able to get a team that we normally wouldn’t play to come to town. The season is winding down. We have that game, a tournament and two sets of conference games.”