Laramie Rangers Win Dooley Oil Classic
The Laramie Rangers overcame a sour start to win the Dooley Oil Classic this weekend in Laramie as Cowboy Field celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Laramie defeated Bear Creek 12-4 in the championship game.
Fort Morgan handed the Rangers an 8-7 defeat on Friday morning in a loss manager Rich Wilson called “disappointing.” Laramie rallied in the 7th, but left two men on base and started the tournament 0-1.
It looked like more of the same for Laramie through the first five and a half innings against Douglas on Friday afternoon as Douglas took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. But the Rangers sparked to life and tied the game on a 2-run double by Nolan Carter. Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, Alex Jordan reached on a one-out double and Tommy Johnson hit the walk-off RBI single to give Laramie a 7-6 win.
“We started off slow and that was a concern.” said first year manager Rich Wilson. “We didn’t have a specific target area other than just, you know, this happens, and we need a different approach. It is easy sometimes to just go through the motions.”
Entering day two of the tournament, Laramie knew they had to beat Bear Creek in their final game of pool play to have a chance to make it to the championship game on tiebreakers. Bear Creek was a perfect 11-0 after beating Fort Morgan and Douglas on Friday.
Bear Creek jumped out on top after a couple of extra base hits for a 1-0 lead in the first. Laramie battled back with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a big RBI double by Carter, who was able to come home on a delayed steal to give Laramie the 2-1 lead. Then Able Casas got a 2-run single to increase the lead to 4-1. Bear Creek took advantage of a walk and four base hits in the fifth inning to tie the game at 5, but Laramie responded right away once again. Chance Jones and Taylor Boggess hit RBI singles and Johnson tacked on a 2-run double to pad the lead. Laramie was up 10-5 going into the seventh inning before Bear Creek attacked with three runs to pull within 10-8. A poised Tyler Mitchell relieved Casas and got the save to put Laramie into the championship game, where they would face Bear Creek once again.
In their second meeting of the day Bear Creak jumped out early again, taking a 3-0 lead in the first, but a superb effort by Jordan to dive and tag out a potential fourth run at home plate started to swing the momentum back to the Rangers. Laramie carried that momentum into the bottom of the inning and got the offense going on a Tyler Mitchell RBI triple and capitalized on some Bear Creek errors to plate six runs in the long first inning. The Rangers would not trail again, eventually winning 12-4.
Kevin Dooley pitched the complete seven-inning game to move to 6-0 on the season and give Laramie the championship in their first of two home tournaments. Dooley gave up 4 runs, all earned on 7 hits, walked 4 and struck out 7 while throwing 112 pitches.
“That’s what it takes you’ve got to have all twelve of them, one way or another, contributing.” said Wilson about the tournament win. “Whether they’re support there on the bench or they’re playing in the field, everybody want the ball and wants to go for it and you just don’t let up for the two hours you’re playing.”
The Rangers are now 20-9 under Wilson. They’ll host a doubleheader against Casper on Tuesday, June 26 at 1 PM. Game One coverage will begin on KOWB at 12:45 PM.