It was their best effort in a conference game, but the Laramie Rangers lost their home finale last Friday night to Gillette, 6-4, at Cowboy Field.

Laramie (20-27) has lost seven straight, and that included all three east conference games last week.

Manager Brandon Ruckman said he has some concerns about the skid entering state, but says they’ll be fine.

“I do feel comfortable. No offense to the west-side of the state, but the east-side is pretty tough competition over here with Gillette, Cheyenne and Sheridan. They have some really good pitching.”

In the regular season finale, the Rangers took a 3-1 lead in the first after an RBI-single from Reid Baty, an RBI-fielder’s choice by Albert Steiner and an RBI-single by Treyven Jairell.

Gillette (54-23) fought back and tied it with a pair of runs in the fifth. Josh Hughes triple to left produced a run, and then he scored on an RBI-groundout. The Roughriders regained the lead on Hunter Sylte’s RBI-single in the sixth. They added another run on a wild pitch. Finally, Austin Hester’s RBI single in the seventh made it 6-3 Gillette.

Baty smacked an RBI-triple to centerfield in the seventh that capped the scoring at 6-4.

Ruckman admitted his squad was more competitive against the Roughriders.

“Gillette scored that one run. We answered with three… Marshall (Stuart) did a great job of keeping us in the game followed by Eli (Bryant)… We just didn’t have it (a rally) that last inning.”

Laramie had just five hits in the game and left nine on base. They were able to take advantage of a few of the seven errors by Gillette.

Marshall Stuart started and lasted five innings. He took the loss. The first of four relievers for the Roughriders, Josh Kuhbacher, got the win.

Earlier in the week, the Rangers were beaten by Cheyenne Post 6 and Sheridan in conference games.

Last Tuesday at Cheyenne, Laramie scored first on an RBI-double by Marshall Stuart, but Post 6 pulled away for an 11-1 victory.

Cheyenne scored five runs in the first two frames. They added runs in the third, fourth and fifth and invoked the ten-run mercy rule.

Albert Steiner started and went four innings. He suffered the loss.

Last Thursday in Sheridan, Harrison Yates hit two home runs, but the Rangers lost to the Troopers 16-6 in eight innings.

Sheridan built leads of 8-1 and 11-2. Yates’ second home run was a three-run shot in the seventh. That cut it to 11-6, but the Trooper responded with four runs in the seventh. They added the final run in the eighth.

Yates took the loss on the mound.

Laramie will now prepare for the Wyoming ‘AA’ American Legion State Baseball Tournament in Jackson. It starts Tuesday, July 26. The Rangers will play at 7:30 p.m. against the host Giants.

Ruckman added going in to the post-season, “We’ll just have to see how it goes. I feel like we have a good chance with anybody really on that (west) side. They have to play sound baseball, though. I mean, we still can’t make the errors. We still have to have those timely hits and string together hits.”

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