Little League season ends in California

Torrington All-Stars winless at Mountain Region Tournament

Andrew Towne
Posted 8/9/23

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Coming into the season, the goal of the Torrington All-Star team was to win state and qualify for the Little League Mountain Regional Tournament in San Bernardino, California.

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Little League season ends in California

Torrington All-Stars winless at Mountain Region Tournament


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Coming into the season, the goal of the Torrington All-Star team was to win state and qualify for the Little League Mountain Regional Tournament in San Bernardino, California.

They did just that, setting the bar high for future Torrington Little League seasons.

“We talked after the game, these 12-year-olds, they set the bar by getting out here. Our goal was to win state. We did that and got out here,” Torrington All-Star manager Rob Mortimore said. “Obviously, the stage is a little bit different, and you don’t know what to expect until you bring kids out here and let them handle it for themselves. These 12-year-olds set the bar for Little League baseball for several years to come.”

On Sunday, Torrington opened the week against the defending Mountain Region champion Snow Canyon Little League out of Santa Clara, Utah.

Snow Canyon jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning en route to a 12-2 win over Torrington.

After a quick three up, three down first inning, Kane Correa got the offense going in the second with a leadoff single. Ebin Hunter was hit by a pitch, and Colby Groene signed to load up the bases with no one out.

In the end, all Chase Moeller drove in the only run of the frame with a one-out infield single to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Utah state champions got the run back in the bottom of the second, but Torrington threatened again in the top of the third.

Bryce Booth led off with a walk, and wild pitches moved Booth to third base. Patrick Mortimore grounded out for the second out of the inning, but it drove in Booth, cutting the Utah lead to 4-2.

It proved to be the final run of the game for Torrington.

In the third inning, Snow Canyon took advantage of three Torrington errors, adding three more runs to its total.

“We liked where we were at in the third, fourth inning,” Mortimore said. “We were right there. Make a couple plays and the score stays pretty tight, and we give ourselves a chance. A few things didn’t bounce our way, and that’s how baseball goes.”

Torrington had two more base runners on in the fourth and one more in the fifth as Utah added two runs in the fourth and three in fifth, handing the All-Stars a run-ruled loss.

Mortimore described the games as uncharacteristic.

“Couldn’t get the offense going. At times, we showed some life offensively, but we couldn’t come up with the big hit,” he said. “But we just had some uncharacteristic things on defensive and on the mound. We struggled to throw strikes. Some routine balls that we didn’t make that we normally make.”

He attributed it to the stage.

“This is somewhere Torrington hasn’t been in a long time. It was different for these kids,” he said. “Obviously, nerves played a part of it too. It was a good learning experience. It was clearly not how we wanted it to go, but the boys played hard and fought hard and that’s all we can ask of them. There is good things to come for Torrington baseball.”

Groene went 2-for-2 for Torrington, while Correa and Moeller had the other two hits for the All-Stars.

The pitching combo of Mortimore, Owen Curry, Correa and Marek Nunnes struck out four Snow Canyon batters. Curry had two in two innings as the starter.

The loss dropped Torrington to a must-win contest on Monday afternoon against Boulder Arrowhead Little League out of Billings, Montana.

Much like Sunday, the All-Stars kept things close until the end of the game, falling 8-4.

The Montana state champions grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Torrington quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first.

Mortimore, Asher Mattis and Curry walked to load the bases to begin the inning. Hunter grounded into a fielder’s choice. Mortimore was out at home, but Mattis scored on the double play attempt by Boulder Arrowhead.

In the second, Torrington got two runners on base as Barrett Bruch walked and Moeller singled. Montana got out of the inning with three straight outs.

“We had a lot of baserunners and a lot of opportunities,” Mortimore said.

In the top of the third, Montana got two runs across home to break the tie, adding one more in the top of the fourth.

Down 4-1, Correa got the offense going with a leadoff double to center field. Two batters later Correa advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a single from Moeller.

Mortimore, in relief of starter Booth, pitched a perfect fifth inning with two strike outs and a groundout. However, Torrington couldn’t get any offense going in the home half of the fifth.

In the sixth, Montana looked to put the game away with four runs in the top of the frame.

The Torrington All-Stars weren’t going to go away quietly with the top of the lineup due up.

Mortimore led off the inning with a single and Curry doubled, driving in a run, cutting the deficit 8-3. After the double, the Montana pitcher was pulled from the game after reaching his pitch limit for the day, and he fanned 11 Torrington batters along the way. Correa drove in the season’s final run on a ground out.

“We don’t see a lot of off-speed where we are from, and we saw a lot of it today,” Mortimore said. “It got us off balance a little bit, but the kids fought hard. I think, if we get another shot at it, it might bounce our way a little bit. It was just one of those days it just wasn’t our day.”

Moeller went 2-for-2 with one RBI, while Correa, Curry and Mortimore accounted for the other three hits.

The pitching trio of Mortimore, Correa and Booth struck out seven Montana batters, led by Mortimore with four.

The Torrington All-Stars wrapped up the postseason run with a 13-10-1 record, and Mortimore was thankful to the community for all the support it has shown the team.

“The overwhelming support has been awesome for these boys. We couldn’t be more thankful for that. The support we’ve had from the entire state and from the Wyoming contingent who came out here was great. It was great to see the community come together and stand strong behind these boys. It was well received and well felt out here,” Mortimore said. “Torrington baseball is in pretty good shape right now, and that’s in part to these 12-year-olds and the hard work they’ve put in. We’ve had several people here just compliment how the boys have handled themselves in how they represented Wyoming.”