Tiger ‘A’ opens season with doubleheader split against Laramie

Andrew Towne
Posted 5/11/23

TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers opened the 2023 season with a split with the Class AA Laramie Rangers on Tuesday evening at Dean Bullock Field.

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Tiger ‘A’ opens season with doubleheader split against Laramie


TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers opened the 2023 season with a split with the Class AA Laramie Rangers on Tuesday evening at Dean Bullock Field.

Torrington fell in game one of the doubleheader 7-3 but rebounded with a 5-0 victory in game two.

“They’ve played 10 games already, and they’ve seen Post 6, both the Sixers and the Hawks,” coach Jackson Jones said. “They’ve been playing well. It’s really encouraging to see us play that well against a team who has been playing for about three weeks already.”

In game one, Laramie plated three runs the first inning en route to handing Torrington a four-run loss.

Despite a 3-0 hole, it didn’t take long for Torrington get its first run of the season across in the bottom of the first.

“There are always going to be some nerves at the start of the season,” Jones said. “You haven’t gone live against anyone else. You’ve been playing against each other for so long you get sick of it. Those guys were ready to see some other pitching.”

Austin Short worked a walk, and two batters later, came around to score on an RBI single by Ayden Desmond.

Drew Kramer was the only other base runner Torrington had until the fourth inning.

Desmond led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a leadoff walk and came around to score courtesy of an RBI single by Mac Hibben.

The next inning, Greiman led the frame off with a walk and came around to score on a single by Ben Firminhac. The run cut the Laramie lead to 6-3, but it proved to be as close as the Tigers came to seeing the lead in the season-opening loss.

The Tigers tallied four hits in the loss – one each by Firminhac, Desmond, Hibben and Kramer. Desmond also took the loss, working three innings, giving up two earned runs while striking out three.

Game two was owned by Torrington starting pitcher Nolan Long.

Long went the distance for the Tigers, striking out seven and giving up only four hits over seven innings of work.

“He did an unbelievable job. He’s been great for us for three years now, and this year, he’s taking on more of a leadership role,” Jones said. “He got a chance to start tonight and did an unbelievable job. He threw strikes, trusted his teammates and was confident.”

Meanwhile, the Torrington offense started to click in game two, picking up five hits and tallying three base on balls.

After a scoreless first inning, Ryder Hackbarth led off the second with a single, and Hibben followed it up with a triple to give the Tigers their first lead of the season. The next at-bat, Kramer grounded out, driving in Hibben.

Torrington added a third run in the bottom of the third. Short got on base with a single to leadoff the inning and later scored on an RBI single by Desmond.

The Tigers iced the game with two more runs in the home half of the fifth inning when Firminhac and Greiman scored.

Eight of the nine Torrington batters reached base in the victory.

“We had some really good at-bats tonight for our first night,” Jones said. “We had good two-strike hitting. We had good approaches. We got the ball into play when we needed to manufacture runs.”

Jones added the split with Laramie was big for the team early in the season.

“We were a team that got to state last year and didn’t do what we wanted to do up there in Cody,” he said. “We return the heart of our team. We’ve been excited to get going earlier this year. It’ll be nice to have about 12 games in before we begin conference games.”

The Tigers (1-1) head to Cheyenne on Sunday for a triangular with the Cheyenne Hawks, who are now playing at the AA level, and conference foes, the Wheatland Lobos in a nonconference battle. Torrington plays at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Powers Field.

“It’ll be nice to see what (Wheatland is) looking like,” Jones said. “It’ll be also nice to play Cheyenne. They are playing AA this year. Three out of our four first games are against the higher division. It’ll be nice to set a benchmark of where we are at and where we need to be.”