Garrett Dodd Leads Laramie Past Gillette to a Clinch Berth in the State Tournament
Garrett Dodd hit a two-run home run and the go-ahead two-run single in the Laramie 11-12 year old All-Stars 5-4 victory over Gillette Wednesday night.
Dodd’s single came with two-outs and the bases loaded, as Laramie trailed 4-3 in the top of sixth inning. Camden Shipman and Brandon Ruckman came in to score the tying and winning runs on the single up the middle.
Dodd said of his clutch hit in the sixth,
“I was just focusing on getting on base.”
11-12 manager Jerry Dodd is not only the team’s head coach, but also Garrett’s dad. He admitted a lot was going through his mind.
“Biggest thing I was hoping for was that he could just put the bat on the ball and do something positive there.”
Gillette took a 1-0 lead on home run in the first. Laramie answered with Garrett Dodd’s two-run shot in the third. That was followed by a solo blast from Mahlon Morris for a 3-1 Laramie lead. Gillette answered with three runs in the bottom of the third, as they took advantage of a couple of miscues by Laramie.
Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth innings, which set-up Garrett Dodd’s heroics.
Darek Squires came in and pitched the bottom of the sixth for the victory. He recorded a strike-out, but then walked a batter on four pitches. After a fielder’s choice led the second out, Squires got the fourth hitter to groundout to him.
Squires said of his strategy in the sixth, “I was facing the meat of the order, and I was really nervous because we were only up by one run, so I didn’t have a lot of cushion. I played through it and pitched as hard as I could.”
Jerry Dodd said of Squires, “The biggest thing was we had a really good hitter up, and I didn’t want to leave it out (a pitch) across the plate. He killed us with a home run earlier in the game… He (Darek) brought it, and it was great.”
With the victory, Laramie clinched a spot at next week’s state tournament in Lovell. They also advance to Friday’s district tournament championship game at 10 a.m.
Dodd added, “This win is huge. First off, being in our hometown and be able to advance out of here, I think it takes a lot of stress off… Now that we’ve done that, I think now we can just keep plugging away.”
Laramie will face the winner of Thursday’s Gillette-Torrington game.
Laramie avoided elimination at the district tournament Wednesday with a 24-0 victory in four innings over Cheyenne.
Max Stanard had two hits, including a home run and drove in five. Caleb Squires added four hits and three RBI’s, while Tanner Schilz contributed three hits, which included two triples and two RBI’s. Laramie had 21 hits offensively.
Jace Moniz started and was the winning pitcher. He went two innings with a walk and two strike-outs.
The 9-10 All-Stars face another elimination game Thursday against Torrington. They beat them three days ago, 12-4. That game is at 4 p.m.