Blake Moore’s RBI-single to right-center field gave the Laramie Rangers a 2-1 victory over Gillette Wednesday night at the Wyoming ‘AA’ American Legion Baseball State Tournament.

Moore smacked a 1-1 pitch that scored Reston Morehouse from second for the game-winning run.

The victory was Laramie’s third at the ‘AA’ state tournament this year. That’s the first time the Rangers have accomplished that since 2008.

Laramie manager Brandon Ruckman said he had confidence his veteran Blake Moore would come through in the clutch.

“There’s nobody better at the plate at that situation than Blake Moore. He’s a senior, gamer. He takes these moments very seriously. That’s the one time he ever takes anything seriously, but nobody better than him with a runner at second base. We knew if we could get a hit, we’d score ‘em (the runner). I knew he’d give us the best chance to do it.”

Ruckman added, oh man, it feels great.

“That was a great ending to that game. You know it was one of those games, just nervous energy in the dugout, and you don’t know if you’re making the right call or not. I thought the team did great, top-to-bottom. A real tough team in Gillette, and to get a good win like that over them, you know I’m pretty happy.”

The game was scoreless for four innings. Gillette broke through after an error by the Rangers with two outs in the fifth. Austyn Hester smacked an RBI-double to left-center. Laramie came back with Matt Smith’s RBI-double in the bottom of the same frame. That scored David Coulthard from second.

After neither team scored in the sixth, the Roughriders got a runner to second with two outs in the seventh, but a fly ball to left ended the frame and set the stage for Moore’s heroics.

Reid Baty started and tossed six and one-third innings. He allowed one unearned run on three hits. Baty walked three and had five strikeouts. Reston Morehouse got the win in relief.

Moore had two of Laramie’s five total hits in the game.

Gabe Conklin threw well for Gillette. He allowed two runs on five hits but took the loss.

Both teams committed two errors in the field.

The Rangers advance to championship day at the state tournament. They will play Cheyenne Post 6 for the second time in the tourney. Game time is 1 p.m. KOWB (AM 1290) will air the game live. David Settle will call the action. Coverage will start at 12:45 p.m.

The winner will face Gillette in a one-game, winner takes all, championship at 3:30 p.m. from Powers Field in Cheyenne.

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