TORRINGTON – The Torrington Little League held its second of four Spring Training days this past Sunday, with former University of Nebraska pitcher Jeremy Becker on hand.
Torrington Little League implemented a Spring Training program this spring, with four sessions. The first session, which had 60 players attend, had Chad Parish from No Limit Sports Performance, with Becker as the most recent guest. On Sunday, the number of players grew to 70.
“We needed something to get the kids excited,” Torrington Little League President Abe Correa said. “Bringing in guys like Chad and Jeremy has been great.”
After being redshirted his freshman year, Becker went on to make 66 appearances on the mound between 2002-2005. During his final year for the Cornhuskers, Becker had a 2.57 ERA, with five strikeouts and only two earned runs. He was named First-Team Academic All-Big 12 in both 2004 and 2005.
Becker, a native to Scottsbluff, Neb., is no stranger to the big stage, pitching in the College World Series for the Huskers.
Torrington’s Spring Training is a way to get the local Little Leaguers out to the diamond and get them reacquainted with baseball before the season arrives. The programs are open to any player who has already registered for this year’s Little League season, from t-ball to the Majors.
“It’s to get the kids to think about baseball before the season,” Correa said. “We are a little behind if we start with the season, so starting even a month earlier is huge.”
Becker worked with the older kids on their pitching mechanics and worked them through drills and stretches, but the younger players were not left out. The Minors players worked with local Torrington Tiger baseball players on fielding and batting, while the t-ball players worked on the same aspects of baseball with different Little League coaches.
The local baseball players are hoping that hitting the diamond earlier this year will help them later on in the season with it comes to the district and state tournament. Torrington has a daunting postseason this summer, with their district growing from four teams to possibly 10.
“When I heard that all these other towns were joining the district, I was so glad we rolled out our fall ball, winter workouts and spring training,” Correa said. “We are really going to have to bring it.”
There will be two more spring training sessions this year before the Little League season gets underway. Parish will be back helping out the players on April 8 and the final spring training is on April 15. Both of those sessions will be open to all registered Little League players and are from 2-4 p.m.