The Laramie Rangers won their fifth straight game Thursday night at Cowboy Field with a 7-4 victory over the Loveland Aces to start the Dooley Oil Classic.

Laramie (14-16) rallied from 1-0 and 3-2 deficits. The Rangers tied it at 3-3 in the third. They took the lead for good with three in the fourth.

Reid Baty had a double, a triple, drove in a run and scored once to lead a 10-hit attack. He also started on the mound and went five innings for the victory. Baty allowed four runs on seven hits. He walked three and hit two batters, but also struck out 10.

“A little surprising, I didn’t know (I had 10 strikeouts) until after this game. I just tried to be as efficient as I can and help my team out,” said Baty.

He admitted he was a little shaky to start with his pitching.

“I knew I just needed to throw strikes. I mean, this team was pretty good. They still hit the ball. They still hit me pretty hard, but I knew my team would back me up. I just really tried to focus on throwing strikes, and I tried to get that curveball going late in the game.”

As for his offensive performance, his two extra-base hits came close to being home runs. The one-out triple in the second landed just short of the fence in left-center field. His RBI-double in the third tied the game. It landed at the bottom of the outfield fence in left field.

Baty said, “I know I’m confident with wood bats. I mean I just came back from college and used the wood all the time. Just felt more comfortable, and I was on-time tonight, for sure. I just stayed disciplined, and I took the pitches I really wanted to.”

The Rangers took the lead by capitalizing on a Loveland error. After a lead-off walk was issued to Michael Schutterle, Ramon Gomez put a ground ball in play. The throw by the third baseman to first was in the dirt and got away. Schutterle scored and Gomez went all the way to third. He came in on a suicide squeeze bunt by Albert Steiner. After a two-out walk to Will Yates, Caleb Eaton followed with an RBI-triple to left-center field. That made it 6-3 Laramie.

The Aces got one back in the fifth, but Laramie added an insurance run in the sixth.

Logan Pickard shut down Loveland over the final two innings and got the save. Eaton added two hits, as well.

Rangers’ manager Brandon Ruckman said it was more of the same that we’ve been seeing on this win streak that made the difference in this game.

“The whole team effort. Taking advantage (of opponent mistakes), moving runners, good bunts, you know, staying within themselves, not trying to bunt bad pitches, not trying to hit bad pitches. Obviously, the double plays helped at the end. I thought Reid did a great job of challenging hitters. Logan (did the) same thing. I just thought they did a great job top-to-bottom today.”

Next up is the second pool play game for Laramie. They will face Rock Springs Friday night at 7 p.m.

Ruckman said to keep it going, “We can’t let off the gas, especially in a tournament like this where runs against, run for come into play. You know you need to get on the gas early. I would like to see more runs scored, more offensive play, and just our pitchers need to do the same thing they did today.”

KOWB will broadcast the game versus Rock Springs. Coverage will begin at 6:45 p.m. with David Settle from Cowboy Field.

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