A strong pitching performance by Albert Steiner carried Laramie to a third straight win, as the Rangers beat the Cheyenne Hawks 6-1 Tuesday night at Cowboy Field.

Steiner controlled the Hawks’ bats, as he worked six innings for the win on the mound. Steiner allowed one unearned run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Steiner said his fastball was working for him.

“David (Coulthard, catcher) had a super-good target, low target behind the plate. Early on my off-speed wasn’t really there, but my fastball was there, and that kept me in the game, for sure.”

Manager Brandon Ruckman said Steiner’s turned into their ace.

“We really count on him to pound the zone with strikes. Our defense played pretty well behind him, and it’s refreshing as a pitcher when you have a defense you can kind of count on to make those plays… I can’t say enough about the kid.”

Steiner admitted he adjusted his warm-up after some slow starts in previous outings.

“I learned in the first two games this year I pitched, I would come out kind of weak in the first inning, but the second and third inning would really start to come together. So, I figured out I should get a better warm-up.”

He went on to say he liked how he started strong, so he figured out how important his pregame is.

The lone run for the Hawks came after a Laramie error that started the second inning. A double and a wild pitch eventually pushed the run across.

The Rangers answered right back with four runs in the bottom of the second. The big blow was a two-run triple by Logan Pickard to right field. That hit gave Laramie a 3-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The big second inning started with a double by Reid Baty. Then a pair of walks were sandwiched around a strikeout. Baty scored on a wild pitch. Then, Pickard hit his blast down the right field line. He scored on a groundout by Matt Smith.

Laramie tacked on two more runs in the sixth. After a walk and a Cheyenne error, Michael Schutterle produced an RBI-double with one out. Coulthard added an RBI-sacrifice fly.

Overall the offense produced only four hits, but all of them were extra-base hits in the form of three doubles and a triple.

Ruckman still said, “They did a great job; played a consistent game and didn’t have a whole lot of errors. We dropped one ball. Other than that, they’re getting better and better. They’re progressing each series, and that’s one of the most positive takeaways from this team this season.”

The Hawks finished with six hits, but left nine runners on base, which included six in scoring position.

The Rangers improved to 5-7 on the season. Ruckman added with the three straight wins, he can see momentum building with his squad.

“Trying to get back to .500, so we’re one step closer to that… overall a good performance.”

Laramie now has eight days off until their next action. That will be on Wednesday, May 31 in a single, nine-inning game against the Casper Oilers. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. from Cowboy Field.

More From KOWB 1290