Rangers Keep Rolling Thanks to Big Day Offensively
A pair of 10-run mercy rule victories helped the Laramie Rangers extend their winning to four straight Tuesday at Cowboy Field.
Laramie (8-12) defeated Rock Springs Archie Hay Post 24 in the opening game of a twin bill, 19-7, in just four-and-a-half innings. They won the second game 15-5 in five innings.
Rangers’ manager Brandon Ruckman knows his team has a lot going on, but he was pleased that their win streak remained in-tact.
“I thought they did a great job today of coming out remaining focused for two full games, and really everything I wanted to see, I saw today, and so I’m pretty happy.”
Matt Smith starred in game one. He started on the mound and lasted four and two-thirds innings for the victory. Smith allowed seven runs, three earned, on eight hits and tossed only 59 pitches in a nearly complete game. He helped himself with a 4-for-4 day at the plate and five RBI’s. Smith had an RBI double in a four-run first. He smashed a bases-clearing triple for three more RBI’s in the second. Smith added two singles, one of which drove in a run, in Laramie’s big fourth inning.
Smith said of his all-around performance, “I just went out there and just had fun, I guess. (On the mound) I just knew that I had to throw strikes, and I just put it in there and let them hit, and let my defense do their job. I think just the team win is most important.”
Ruckman added of Smith, “He’s really coming along, and he’s gonna be a big part of where we’re headed.”
After Rock Springs (2-13) closed within 4-3 in the second, the Rangers responded. They scored five runs for a 9-3 lead. It was Smith’s triple that broke it open. Then, Laramie sent 15 batters to the plate in the fourth and scored 10 runs. They had six hits, which included Logan Pickard’s two-run triple and a Will Yates three-run triple, plus walked five times and capitalized on a dropped fly ball.
As a team, Laramie had 12 hits and drew 12 walks with four stolen bases on offense.
In game two, Laramie was led by David Coulthard, who had three hits and four RBI’s.
The Rangers jumped to a 6-1 lead after two innings. Laramie got RBI singles from Baden Jordan and Blake Moore, an RBI fielder’s choice from Yates, an RBI groundout by Caleb Eaton and an RBI single from Coulthard in the second inning.
After three more runs in the fourth made it 9-3, Rock Springs closed within 9-5 before the Rangers exploded in the sixth.
Laramie scored six runs and capped the game with Reid Baty’s inside-the-park three-run home run, which invoked the 10-run mercy rule.
Logan Pickard started and went two and two-thirds for the victory. He combined with Albert Steiner and Caleb Eaton to limit Rock Springs to just six hits.
The Rangers had 12 more hits, which included four extra-base hits.
Smith said of the sweep, “It gives us a lot of confidence going into the Spearfish tournament, so that’s a good sign.”
Laramie heads to Spearfish, SD for the 10th annual Alan Tellinghuisen Memorial Tournament Friday through Sunday. The Rangers are in pool A for Friday and Saturday. They open at 6 p.m. Friday against Billings Upper Deck and will follow that with a game at 8:15 p.m. Friday versus the host team, Spearfish. Saturday has one game, and Laramie will face Miles City, MT at 6 p.m. Sunday’s action is bracket play and will be determined by how the Rangers fare in pool play.