Key Plays Go Cheyenne’s Way in Rangers Home Loss on Tuesday
A lack of timely hits and a defensive miscue led to the Laramie Rangers downfall in a 4-0 loss to Cheyenne Post 6 at Cowboy Field on Tuesday.
Laramie (24-16) lost for the fifth time in their last six games. The Tuesday matchup was a non-conference, 9-inning game.
The Rangers left 10 runners on base, which included five in scoring position. They also struck out 12 times.
Laramie manager Aaron Lozano admitted they didn’t come through offensively.
“We had a couple of missed signs. We had a couple of bunts go foul. We know when we’re going up against Cheyenne, it’s not going to be an 18-3 ball game like we saw in Rock Springs. We know we have to do better at the plate.”
Cheyenne Post Six (34-14) took the lead in the fourth inning. After a Zack Costopolous was hit by a pitch with one out, he advanced to second on a ground out. Dominic Lopez came through with an RBI-single to left field.
The Sixers added two more runs in the seventh inning. Cheyenne loaded the bases with no outs. A strikeout and a fielder’s choice gave Laramie an opportunity to get out of the frame unscathed, but an error on a ground ball with two outs led to Cheyenne’s runs and a 3-0 lead. The Sixers added an insurance run in the ninth.
The Rangers had the bases loaded in the first inning but a strikeout ended the threat. They left a runner at third two more times in the game and had a runner thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a single to right field.
Lozano added, “I thought out pitchers and our defense played exceptionally well. We had one fairly large error. I thought Caleb (Eaton) and Tyler (Oppie) both played phenomenal defense today. Darnale (Bangert) actually, he misses the one ball, but he made a couple of key catches on those shallow fly balls that aren’t easy for an infielder. In general, I thought we played pretty clean on defense and our pitching was great, gave us everything we needed, just no offense tonight.”
Ryan Chamberlain, Tyler Oppie, and Brandon Chavez combined for 10 strikeouts and allowed only two walks. Chamberlain took the loss.
Both teams had only six hits in the game. Aidan Morris led Laramie with two hits. Lopez led Post 6 with two hits, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Lozano said the next step for his program is coming through with clutch hits in timely situations to win more meaningful games.
“If we go last year, we get ourselves into situations where a close game is an 8-nothing game or an eight-run game, and this year, we’re right on the cusp of taking that next step, where a 4-nothing game could be a 4-nothing game the other way the next time around.”
The Rangers will take part in the Gabe Pando Memorial Invite that takes place Thursday through Sunday at four different field locations across Northern Colorado and in Cheyenne. Laramie is part of Pool A.
Lozano added, “The guys had a chip on their shoulder in the (Post 6) Firecracker (tournament) for being in Pool B and now they’re in Pool A, so this is what they wanted, and it’ll be fun to see ‘em go out there and compete.”
They face Regis Jesuit (Aurora, CO) on Thursday at 2 p.m. The game will be played at Mountain View High School in Loveland, CO. Friday, the Rangers will face Gene Taylor out of Grand Junction, CO in Cheyenne at Pioneer Park. That game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Laramie will have two pool play games on Saturday at City Park in Fort Collins. They face Rock Canyon from Highlands Ranch, CO at 4:30 p.m., followed by the host Rocky Mountain Lobos at 7 p.m. Sunday’s game is to be determined and will be based upon how the Rangers fair in pool play.
Laramie’s next home date is a conference doubleheader on July 22 versus the Sheridan Troopers.