Younger All-Stars defend state title; end postseason with 10-1 mark

Courtesy photo Torrington All-Star catcher Cassius Gonzalez tags out a Lander baserunner at home plate.

ROCK SPRINGS – The Torrington 9-10-year-old All-Star team successfully defended the 2022 championship with an undefeated weekend at the Wyoming Little League State Tournament in Rock Springs.

With both the Torrington 9-10s and 11-12s winning state championships, it was only the sixth time in Wyoming Little League history both the Majors and Minors swept the state titles and the first time in Torrington Little League history.

“The kids are such a good group of boys. They played together so well. Honestly, they didn’t make a lot of mistakes for 9-10-year-old boys. They hit the ball. They never feel like they are out of the game,” All-Star coach Kevin Evans said. “All the way down our lineup, someone made a difference. It didn’t matter where they were position-wise or lineup-wise, somebody influenced the game. They just played solid baseball all week.”

The younger All-Star squad outscored their opponents 21-5 in three games.

After Torrington opened the weekend with an 11-2 win over host Rock Springs, the All-Stars found themselves in a battle with the Lander All-Stars before prevailing 3-2 in a walk-off victory.

Both Torrington and Lander scored a run in the first and second innings, leaving the game tied at two heading into the third.

Hudson Hoffman’s sacrifice fly scored Jax Bruch to tie the game at one, and in the second, Chase Baker singled, scoring Jacob Hibben.

Neither team scored again until Preston Stratton’s RBI single, scored Bruch with two out.

Bruch and Stratton went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Baker went 2-for-2. Stratton was credited with the win, striking out six over 4 1/3 innings.

The win provided the All-Stars with Friday off and a ticket to the championship game on Saturday.

The Lander All-Stars battled back through Friday’s consolation round, setting up a rematch with Torrington.

This time, Torrington left no doubt in a 7-1 victory.

After a scoreless first inning, Hibben singled, and Baker also singled, driving in Hibben.

Torrington added two more in the fourth courtesy of RBIs by Baker and Cassius Gonzales walked with the bases loaded, pushing the lead to 3-0.

Torrington added five more in the top of the fifth, and Lander plated its only run of the game in the bottom half of the inning.

In the sixth, the Torrington All-Stars took advantage of a Lander error, adding the final run to its total.

Baker paced the offensive attack with a 3-for-3 day with two RBIs, while Gunner Werning and Hibben had two hits apiece.

Hoffman went 4 2/3 innings, striking out four, while Caden Ryall finished the game, pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball to lockup the team’s second consecutive state championship.

“It’s amazing for me to be a part of it last year, and for Grant (Curry) and Rob (Mortimore) to start this and for me to take over do it again with about half the kids and some new faces was pretty special,” Evans said. “This group of kids really is a special group of boys.”

Evans believes this is the start of a five to six year run for Torrington Little League.

The Torrington All-Stars finished the postseason run with a 10-1 record.