Laramie Deputies Are Ready For The State Tournament
Postseason play is here for the Laramie Deputies, who are at the Class ‘B’ Wyoming American Legion Baseball State Tournament in Sheridan Wednesday through Sunday.
The Deputies are considered the JV or second-tier team in the Laramie Legion Baseball program. Their roster is comprised of players that are ages 15-17.
Laramie has had a terrific season. The Deputies enter the state tournament with a 25-14 record.
Deputies’ manager Nick Darling says it’s been an awesome season.
“We’ve had some really good leadership and good, young talent. We’ve got Darnale Bangert, his play is fantastic every single game. Cason Mclean also, another kid for our team, just brings it at the plate every game. Young kids, like Billy Jenkin and Brandon Chavez, they just come to play every single game and it’s really fun. They’ve all played together for a long time, so it’s fun that I get to step in here and see this chemistry and go with it.”
Mclean is hitting .470 with 28 RBI’s. He has 47 total hits, which includes 13 extra-base hits and has scored 62 runs. Bangert is hitting .325 with 23 RBI’s. Jenkin leads the Deputies with 41 RBI’s and has a .381 average at the plate, and has 17 extra-base hits, including the team’s only home run.
On the mound, Bangert has thrown over 57 innings and has a 3.64 earned run average in 17 starts. Chavez has a 2.66 ERA over eight appearances with five starts. He’s thrown 26.1 innings this season.
Darling said as long as they’re encouraging each other, the chemistry piece is not hard at all.
Laramie has overcome a couple of big obstacles with injuries to shortstop Hunter Lundahl and catcher Alex Mercil.
“We’ve been without two of our starters for the whole second half of the year, and it’s been really something watching all the kids go to different positions and still come up big every time.”
Heading to the state tournament, Darling believes it comes down to pitching.
“As long as our pitchers are hitting their spots and their ‘on,’ I feel pretty confident with them. Our offense has always been really good, as long as we’re patient. We typically get double-digit walks and that’s really, really big for us. We’re super-aggressive on the base paths, so we’re just going to continue that.”
The Deputies have drawn 240 walks this season compared to 218 strikeouts. Seven Laramie players have drawn 24 walks or more this season. Bangert leads the way with 34.
They’ve also stolen 211 bases as a team on the year and have been caught only 24 times. Mclean has 37 stolen bases, while Bangert has 35, and Jackson Devine has swiped 30.
Their first game at state will be against Powell.
Darling admitted he doesn’t know anything about Powell, but he knows Sheridan, Cheyenne, and others will be tough. They have played Rock Springs and Evanston, who are also in the field.
“I’m pretty excited about what our chances are this year. Again, it always comes down to our pitchers hitting their spots. Defensively, we don’t have errors, and then offensively we’re patient and we have fun on the base paths.”
The Laramie Deputies face Powell at 1 p.m. Wednesday from Thorne-Rider Stadium in Sheridan.