Offensive Struggles Hurt Laramie Rangers in Pando Tournament
There were several close calls, but it ended up being a tough weekend on the diamond for the Laramie Rangers baseball team.
Laramie (25-20) went 1-4 at the Gabe Pando Memorial Invite last weekend. The Rangers were winless in pool play but managed to rally for a victory in match play on Sunday.
Manager Aaron Lozano said the frustrating part was they felt they played well but the positive outcomes weren’t there.
“I think the guys would agree, that a lot of the results, we felt like, could’ve been different with some adjustments on the offensive side of the ball. (We had) really great pitching and really good defense but the bats weren’t there.”
Last Thursday, Laramie lost to Regis Jesuit, 7-5. Regis scored six runs over the last three innings for the victory. The Rangers had a couple of errors that led to the Raiders taking the late lead. Laramie had only five hits in the game. Aidan Morris had a hit and drew two walks.
On Friday, the Rangers suffered a 2-0 loss to the Gene Taylor team from Grand Junction, CO. Laramie got a great pitching performance from Garrett Dodd. He allowed two unearned runs on six hits but suffered the loss. The Rangers had only three hits on offense, which included one by Dodd.
Laramie lost a pair on Saturday. They fell in extra innings in their first contest. The Rangers lost to Rock Canyon (Highlands Ranch, CO), 6-4 in nine innings. It was a 1-1 ballgame through seven innings. Both teams scored three in the eight, but Rock Canyon added a pair in the ninth and pulled out the win. Riley Hogsett had two hits and an RBI, while Ben Ruckman drove in two runs. Jake Vigen took the loss on the mound. In their second game, Laramie lost to the host team, the Rocky Mountain Lobos (Fort Collins, CO), 7-2. The Rangers trailed 3-2, but the Lobos scored four times in the sixth inning and secured the victory. Laramie had six hits to Rocky Mountain’s three, but the Lobos took advantage of 10 walks.
In match play, Laramie played at the Loveland Aces on Sunday. A four-run sixth inning, highlighted by Tyler Oppie’s two-run triple gave the Rangers the lead, and they held on for a 7-6 win. They had only four hits but took advantage of five errors by the Aces. Brandon Chavez got the win in relief.
With their offensive woes, Lozano is hoping it pays dividends down the road.
“We knew going into the Pando (Invite), at the beginning of the year even, that we were going to see a higher level of competition, some more velocity on the mound from our opponents, and that’s kind of what we wanted. To see that higher velocity and get us prepared for a run against teams like Cheyenne and Gillette and Sheridan, who have pitchers who can throw hard. We felt like that happened for us last weekend, and we feel like it’s prepared us for the upcoming couple of weeks.”
Laramie returns home Wednesday for a conference twin bill against the Sheridan Troopers. The first game begins at 3 p.m. from Cowboy Field.