A six-run eighth inning by the Gillette Roughriders propelled them past the Laramie Rangers 11-1 Wednesday at Wyoming ‘AA’ Legion Baseball State Tournament.

Laramie (22-24) led 1-0 after two innings, but saw Gillette score 11 unanswered runs. The Rangers missed opportunities and left 13 runners on base.  Seven of those were in scoring position.

Manager Brandon Ruckman said the timely hitting was a struggle.

“It was exactly that; left too many runners on base; couldn’t string together hits… situationally we missed some things; some bunts we didn’t lay down; and when you do that against a team like Gillette, it’s hard to put together a win.”

Wes Yerty gave Laramie the early lead with a two-out RBI single to right-field in the second. The Roughriders tied it with a run in the third and threatened to get more, but a double play off a line drive got the Rangers out of the frame.

Gillette (59-18) took the lead for good on a bases-clearing, 3-run double by Andrew Molder in the fourth.

After a run in the seventh made 5-1, the Roughriders finished it an inning later.

Kacey Bernaski started and went six innings on the mound, but he took the loss. Yerty, Joseph Legerski and Marshall Stuart had two hits apiece.

Ruckman added, “Kacey (Bernaski) had a great game; kept us right in there… Bats kind of fell flat there towards the end. We got all those extra base hits yesterday (win over Jackson); kind of where we fell flat today.”

Laramie has dropped into the loser’s bracket and will face elimination Friday against the Sheridan Troopers. That game will start at 10 a.m.

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