Thanks to having the lone undefeated record in the tournament, the Laramie Rangers won the Dooley Oil Classic for the second straight year.

Laramie (11-20) has won four straight games overall. They went 3-0 in the wood bat tournament last weekend at Cowboy Field.

Sunday’s games were canceled due to poor field conditions after more rain impacted the field Saturday night and Sunday morning. The final three games of the tournament were called off.

After their 8-0 win last Thursday night over Dickinson, ND, the Rangers followed that with an 8-0 win over Torrington on Friday. Then, Laramie won a dramatic, come-from-behind 5-4 game in 8 innings Saturday against Rock Springs Archie Hay Post 24.

Young lefty Darek Squires was the star of Friday night’s win. He threw a one-hit shutout against the Tigers. Squires walked two batters and hit another, but also struck out eight. He got out of a jam in the first inning with the bases loaded but allowed only three baserunners the rest of the game. He tossed only 87 pitches and finished the game in style when Squires struck out the side looking in the fifth.

Manager Aaron Lozano praised his young lefty’s effort.

“I can’t say enough about the performance of Darek Squires on the mound tonight… Typically with Darek this season, when he gets in a jam like that (in the first), that kind of dictates the rest of his night. Tonight, he rose above that. Got out of that jam and moved past it. That’s a big huge step for Darek.”

Lozano felt it’s a turning point for that 15-year old.

Laramie got a run in the third when Caleb Eaton smacked a triple to left-center field and then came home on a Torrington throwing error. The Rangers finished off the game in the fifth with seven runs. Aidan Morris and Jaykob Ahrenholtz had two-run singles in the big frame. Ahrenholtz hit ended the game.

Saturday night, in chilly weather, featured a comeback victory. Laramie trailed 4-0 after Rock Springs scored in the first, but fought their way back. They scored twice in the bottom of the first. The Rangers got another run in the fifth, and then finally tied it on a Ramon Gomez RBI-single in the seventh. Ahrenholtz led off the eighth inning with a single. Alex Flores laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the ball was thrown away by Rock Springs, which allowed Ahrenholtz to score from first base. Gomez got the win in relief on the mound.

Lozano added, “I felt like a month ago, this is a game that we lose. This is a team that has grown together and has matured. They’re figuring each other out, making the little adjustments. Our younger pitchers are starting to trust defenses, just a gritty team win.”

Laramie did not get to play Evanston in their fourth game Sunday morning. They were also in line for a possible fifth game, in the championship, had they beaten the Outlaws, but Mother Nature interfered too much.

The Rangers return to action Friday through Sunday at a wood bat tournament in Fort Morgan, CO.

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