A seven-run sixth inning propelled the Laramie Rangers to a 12-9 victory over Casper on the opening day of the ‘AA’ American Legion Baseball State Tournament Wednesday night.

Laramie (29-19) got their first win over Casper this season. They led 5-0 after two innings before the Oilers rallied and tied the game in the top of the sixth.

Rangers' manager Brandon Ruckman was really pleased with his team's effort.

"They just had a different energy today. They were fired up, ready to go. Just real proud of them and proud of the job they did. They didn't let down for very long. They just kept pretty steady throughout the game, and it was really good to get that win against the No. 1 seed."

The big inning started when Blake Moore was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Will Yates drew a walk that forced in another run. After a wild pitch scored a run, David Coulthard lifted a single to center over the drawn-in infield. Caleb Eaton’s two-run double to deep center capped it, and the Rangers had a 12-5 lead.

Ruckman added, "They didn't give up. They wanted it, you could just tell it. I didn't even have to say anything this game. I usually try to say something between innings. They were so fired up I couldn't even get a word in, anyways. They were just ready to go. A big change from previous years."

Casper came back with four runs in the eighth, but failed to mount a rally in the ninth.

Laramie had eight hits by eight different batters. They took advantage of nine walks and three hit batters. There was also four wild pitches, a passed ball and balk that aided the Rangers.

Moore led the offense with a double and three RBI’s. Michael Schutterle added a two-run double and walked three times.

Four pitchers combined on the mound to slow Casper. Ramon Gomez got the win in relief of starter Albert Steiner. Reid Baty and Coulthard helped close out the game.

The Rangers picked up their first victory at the state tournament since 2015. They advance to play Gillette at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Laramie lost to the Riders five days ago, 11-6, in the final conference game that ended the regular season.

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