Rangers Fall Short At State Against Cheyenne
Too much offense by Cheyenne Post 6 brought an end to the Laramie Rangers 2018 season with a 13-2 loss at the state tournament Thursday.
Laramie (33-27) took a 1-0 lead, but managed just four hits after that, as Cheyenne pulled away for the victory in six innings thanks to the 10-run mercy rule.
Rangers’ manager Brandon Ruckman admitted Cheyenne did their normal thing.
“(They) put the pressure on us, and we just couldn’t come back. Braxton Inniss (Cheyenne starting pitcher) did a good job of keeping us from getting some hits. You gotta score runs if you’re gonna win the game, but I’m proud of these guys for as far as they came and what they’ve done this season. It’s been a good year overall.”
An RBI-double, plus a passed ball and wild pitch gave Post 6 a 2-1 in the second. They added four more in the fourth. The first two hitters reached on singles. After three walks, one of which forced in a run, an RBI-sacrifice fly and an RBI-single made it 6-1.
The Rangers put a small rally together in the fifth. Blake Moore, Albert Steiner, and Will Yates had consecutive singles, the last of which scored Moore. A passed ball moved Steiner and Yates to second and third, but Reid Baty struck out looking and the threat was halted.
Cheyenne scored seven times in the sixth. Laramie’s only error of the game led to six unearned runs, as Post 6 sent 12 hitters to the plate. Big hits included an RBI-single, RBI-double, two-run single and an RBI-triple.
Matt Smith started and took the loss on the mound. He went just over three innings and allowed five runs on five hits. Smith walked four and struck out two, but also hit two hitters. Logan Pickard, Moore, and Reston Morehouse also threw for the Rangers.
Laramie finished with five hits. Moore had two hits and scored both Ranger runs.
Ruckman added, “We just looked uncomfortable up there. We had some uncharacteristic strikeouts back-to-back, and anytime you can’t get one of your first or lead-off hitters on, we struggle with that. So when we don’t get our first or second hitter on that inning, it’s tough because we are all about moving runners. We’re not the big hitting team, like some of these others, like Cheyenne Post 6 is, and so that hurt us today, not getting on early in an inning. Just one of those days.”
Laramie finished 3-2 and in third place at the 2018 Wyoming ‘AA’ American Legion Baseball State Tournament. Ruckman thought that was awesome.
“You know we’ve never made it to Day 5 since I’ve been here. That was really great. I thought the kids really wanted it. Every time we talked they were excited to be here. This has been a great tournament in Cheyenne. It’s always tough here, but it’s almost a home tournament for us because it’s so close.”
He added, “This group was a great group all year. I really wish them the best moving forward.”
This was the Rangers’ most success at the ‘AA’ state tournament since 2008.