The Rangers Shutdown Sheridan
In a nice bounce back from what happened a night earlier, the Laramie Rangers wrapped up the regular season with an 11-1 victory over the Sheridan Troopers Friday night at Cowboy Field.
Laramie manager Brandon Ruckman was proud of his team’s effort, and how quickly they let the loss the night before go
“They came with a fresh mindset… the morale was up in the dugout; they had a little bit more fire… every time Nate (Hill) seems to get on the mound, they always play at a little higher level.”
With the game tied at 1-1, the Rangers broke the game open with five runs in the third inning. They added five more in the fifth. The game was stopped after the top of the sixth thanks to the 10-run mercy rule.
Laramie (21-23, 1-2) earned the third seed from the East Conference for the state tournament that starts Tuesday in Sheridan.
The Rangers pounded out 16 hits, including six extra base hits. Nate Hill’s RBI triple in the third plated the go-ahead run. Blake Moore, Albert Steiner and Marshall Stuart had three hits apiece.
Hill went six innings for the victory on the mound. He allowed only one run on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Hill said his mindset changed after the first inning.
“After coming in and giving up one run, I didn’t want to have Cheyenne over again. I wanted to help my team out as good as I can… just wanted to get the win.”
It was also senior day for six Ranger players. They were honored in a ceremony before the game.
Hill said, “To get a win like that in my last home game, and to be able to pitch and start, and throw as good as I did; I want to say is bittersweet… I looked back as the last pitch was thrown; just looked at the field and took it all in; it’s been a great year and a great four years.”
Ruckman added that the win took a load off their shoulders and got them some momentum going into the state tournament.
“I feel pretty comfortable where we’re at. I feel like if we can get that first win in the state tournament, it should help us later on.”
The Rangers draw the Jackson Giants in their opener Tuesday at 10 a.m.