TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers were one pitch away from snapping a four-game skid Wednesday evening at the Torrington Sports Complex.
In game one against conference foe, the Cheyenne Hawks, the Tigers came up short, 3-2.
The Hawks led off the game with a single, and the baserunner came around to score on a two-out error.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the second when shortstop Sam Firminhac singled to jumpstart the Tiger offense.
A Cheyenne error allowed first baseman Caeden Riley to reach base, and outfielder Josh Kingsley connected on a two-RBI single to give Torrington a 2-1 advantage.
However, the Hawks answered with two of their own in the top of the third. A single with no outs on the scoreboard drove in two runs, giving Cheyenne the lead back.
“We threw the wrong pitch in the wrong situation and gave up two runs off that. It ended up being the difference in the game,” coach Kyle Nighswonger said. “We came back tough and did what we had to do. We just didn’t make the adjustments at the plate that we needed to throughout the game to get it done.”
Torrington had only three more base runners for the remainder of the game.
Third baseman Jackson Jones reached base with singles in the third and sixth innings, but was stranded each time.
In the seventh, Riley led off the inning with a double. He ended up at third on a wild pitch with only one out, but Torrington grounded out and lined out to end the game and an opportunity to force extra innings.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have great situational hitting right there. You hope you can lift a ball to the outfield, or at least, bloop one over their heads,” Nighswonger said. “We competed our hearts out that first game, and overall, I’m happy about it. Just disappointed we didn’t come away with the win.”
Jones was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Tiger offense, while Cameron Murphy was tagged with the loss. He struck out three over seven innings of work in only 84 pitches.
The second game belonged to the Hawks.
The visitors jumped out to a 10-0 lead after three and a half innings en route to a 15-4 run-ruled victory.
“You have to credit Cheyenne,” Nighswonger said. “Their pitcher threw 50 pitches in a five-inning game. He really didn’t mess around. I’m not sure they threw an off-speed pitch in that game. All they did throw fast balls and pound the zone and say what can you guys do with it.”
Torrington finally got the bats going in the bottom of the fourth following a few adjustments.
“We have to give ourselves a better chance to make adjustments earlier in games,” Nighswonger said. “Once we made the adjustments in the bottom half of the game in the fourth and fifth innings, we put guys on base and started hitting balls to gaps. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.”
In the bottom of the fourth, an error allowed Kingsley to advance to second, and Riley followed it up with a single to put the Tigers on the board.
Ben Firminhac drove in two more runs before Cheyenne could get out of the inning.
Cheyenne countered with five of their own to put the lead to 15-3, but Torrington wasn’t done in the bottom of the fifth.
Murphy doubled, and Jones followed up with a single to drive in another run. Ultimately, the Tigers left runners at the corners to end the game.
Riley was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and run scored. He was also the losing pitcher of record. Riley struck out three and walked five over three innings.
The Tigers (3-8 overall and 1-5 in conference) travels to Douglas on Tuesday, June 18 for a 5:30 p.m. doubleheader.