Rangers Utilize Opponent Miscues To Win State Tournament Opener
Taking advantage of 10 walks and six errors by Jackson, the Laramie Rangers beat the Giants 18-3 in their first-round game at the state tournament in Cheyenne.
Laramie won the game via the 10-run mercy rule, as it was stopped after five innings at Pioneer Park in Cheyenne.
Rangers’ manager Brandon Ruckman said his team did a great job.
“Coming out and keeping the pressure on them, we took advantage of a lot of their mistakes. They had a handful of errors there. You know in wet conditions, it was kind of rough, and Jackson kind of threw the ball around. We definitely took advantage of it and got the win.”
Due to weather in the Capital City, the game was delayed two hours and the managers of both teams agreed to move the game to Pioneer Park in order to try and keep the tournament on schedule.
Jackson took advantage of some mental mistakes and scored three times in the second inning for a 3-1.
The Rangers responded with 17 unanswered runs. They sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 10 times in the third. Laramie had only four hits in the big inning but took advantage of five Jackson errors and four walks.
Three more runs came in the fourth, highlighted by Will Yates’ two-run single. Laramie finally managed four extra-base hits in the fifth when they scored four more runs. Logan Pickard led off with a double. After a walk, Michael Schutterle doubled off the left field fence and drove in two runs. Blake Moore followed with a solo home run to center, the first of his Legion baseball career. Albert Steiner laced a triple to right-center and scored on Yates’ RBI-sacrifice fly.
Ruckman said we started with some bad at-bats early and that was addressed.
“We said we need to have a better two-strike approach up there. We need to see the middle of the ball, aim a little bit smaller, and they made some adjustments. There were better approaches at the plate.”
Reid Baty started and went three innings for his eighth win on the mound this season. He allowed only three runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Baty threw only 43 pitches, which means he can pitch again Tuesday. Steiner tossed only 18 pitches in two innings, as he faced seven Jackson hitters and got the final six outs.
Ruckman added, “Reid and Bert did a great job throwing strikes.”
He said it was part of their game-plan.
Moore led the offense with three hits. Yates and Matt Smith added two hits apiece. Yates had three RBI.
The Rangers advance to play Cheyenne Post 6 in a winner’s bracket game at 6 p.m. Monday from Powers Field. Laramie is 0-5 against the Sixers this season.
Ruckman also said, “We’re set-up about as good as we can get pitching-wise. Where we lacked last time we played Cheyenne was we had a lot of walks. Albert’s not typically that type of pitcher. He has roughly a 65 percent strike percentage, so he’s gonna throw strikes. Cheyenne’s gonna have to put the ball in play, we just need to show up defensively and get on the sticks early and often, like I was telling my team. We can beat them, we just need to play a good game.”