WHEATLAND – The Torrington Tiger junior American Legion baseball team rolled to a pair wins over the Memorial Day Weekend at the Wheatland 17U/15U Invite.
After wet fields made it impossible to play on Friday, the tournament was shortened to a two-day event, and on Saturday afternoon, the Tigers run-ruled the Wheatland Lobos, 15-0 in three innings.
“This is a good tournament for us,” first-year head coach Ben Desmond said. “We didn’t know how the kids were going to play, and they played very well for us today.”
The Tigers didn’t waste any time getting the offense going in the top of first inning.
Singles by Austin Short and Ayden Desmond set the tone, while starting pitcher Ben Firminhac reached on a fielder’s choice. Wheatland followed the first out of the game with a pair of wild pitches, scoring Torrington’s first two runs of the game.
The Tigers would get two more across in the first, before Firminhac recorded a three up, three down bottom frame.
In the second inning, the Tigers worked a pair of walks and Firminhac doubled, driving in two additional runs.
A while later, lost track of Firminhac, and he made a bolt home, stealing home and giving the Tigers a 7-0 advantage.
It was the start of a nine-run inning to put Torrington in front, 13-0.
With the sizable lead, the Tigers managed to get everyone involved in the game.
“We got to play everybody,” Desmond said. “That was really nice for us. We through our best players at them. We started our best pitcher. He held his own. They are tougher than people think. We respected them.”
Wheatland left a runner stranded at second in the home half of the second in what proved to be the Lobo’s lone baserunner for the game. The Tigers retired the side in order in the third to close out the game.
“Our defense was our stronger point for us. We’ve been working hard on that, and it really helped us get by them,” Desmond said. “We’ve also got a little speed. When you tie that together, it’s tough for anyone.”
On Sunday, the Tigers knocked off Casper, 11-7.
It was much the same story as Saturday.
“Our first four hitters took it to them,” Desmond said.
The Tigers scored four runs in the first behind singles from Short, Desmond and Hager, to go alone with a double from Firminhac.
In the bottom of the first, Casper had a pair of runners on base, but behind another strong defensive outing, the Tigers managed to get out of the jam with no damage done.
“It helps when you get off to a good start in baseball,” Desmond said. “It put a surprise into those guys.”
Eventually, the Tigers pushed their lead to 7-1 before Casper made a comeback.
Once the Casper starter reached his pitch limit, Torrington managed to hang on for the victory.
Torrington’s final game of the weekend against Douglas was rained out.
The weekend improved the junior Tiger team to 4-0 on the young season.
“It’s a good start for us this year,” Desmond said. “I’m proud of the boys. They’ve really bonded this year.”
Torrington travels to Douglas this weekend for a Friday through Sunday tournament. They will open play against Gillette.