It’s been a tough start to the homestand, as the Laramie Rangers went 1-4 in five games at Cowboy Field last weekend.

Laramie (8-20) dropped a pair of games last Friday night, two more on Saturday, then finally broke a long losing skid Sunday.

The Rangers lost both games in a twin bill against the Loveland (CO) Aces Friday night. Loveland controlled the opener and won 6-0. The Aces scored two runs in the first and second innings and held off Laramie. Loveland’s Daniel Parsek allowed only four hits to the Rangers, two of which were by Aidan Morris. Austin Westnitzer suffered the loss on the mound.

In game two, Laramie blew a three-run lead and lost 8-4 in eight innings. Behind Ben Ruckman, who tossed one-hit ball over six innings, the Rangers had a 4-1 lead. Loveland rallied thanks to two hits, a walk, and two costly errors by Laramie in the seventh. That tied it at 4-4 and forced extra innings. In the eighth, the Aces capitalized on a hit, two more Rangers’ errors, two hit batters, and a sacrifice fly. That made it 8-4. Laramie got one base runner on a walk, but a pair of strikeouts ended the game.

Manager Aaron Lozano said they talked with the team about finishing games.

“It’s one of those things where with a young team, sometimes it’s easy, or not easy, but things tend to spiral with guys that are a little younger, a little less experienced, and that’s hopefully a learning experience for them on how to finish a game, how to pick each other up, how to be a good teammate. Those are things that, I think, to me, stand out more than the baseball itself. It’s just guys figuring out how to pick another guy up.”

Ruckman had a no-hitter going until the sixth inning when he allowed a single to start the frame. That batter was thrown out by Tyler Oppie trying to stretch it to a double. Ruckman threw 106 pitches in six innings. He surrendered an unearned run in the third and had five strikeouts with seven walks.

Lozano added, “It’s tough to see a pitching performance like Ben Ruckman’s wasted tonight. That’s a 15-year old kid out there just throwing beebees.

Caleb Eaton and Oppie led the offense with two hits apiece. Laramie led 3-0 after the first thanks to Riley Hogsett’s two-run double. They made it 4-1 in the third on an RBI-base hit by Oppie.

On Saturday, the Rangers lost both of their games. They fell 12-2 to the Casper Oilers and 17-12 to the Riverton Raiders.

Casper scored six runs in the first two innings and closed out Laramie in six innings. The Oilers took advantage of 10 walks by Rangers’ pitchers and three errors by Laramie.

Against Riverton, the Rangers spotted the Raiders leads of 6-0 and 12-5. Laramie rallied with seven runs in the sixth and tied the game at 12-12. The Rangers had five hits and capitalized on four Riverton errors in the frame. The Raiders came right back five runs in the seventh and won it, 17-12.

The teams combined for 25 hits, 14 errors, and 20 walks.

Sunday saw Laramie play Riverton again in a single, nine-inning game. The Rangers had an 11-6 lead, blew it, trailed by one, and then won it on an error by the Raiders.

Riverton scored six times in the ninth inning and took a 12-11 lead. Laramie’s Ramon Gomez hit an RBI-single to center that scored Caleb Eaton and tied it at 12-12. With the bases loaded, Ben Ruckman hit a ground ball that was misplayed by the Riverton second baseman, which allowed Tyler Oppie to score the winning run.

Gomez had four hits and drove in three runs. Eaton followed with three hits, which included a double, and four RBI’s. Laramie finished with 16 hits in the game. Janson Adair got the win on the mound in relief.

Laramie continues its’ 10-day homestand this upcoming weekend.

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