Laramie Rangers Take Second Place at the State Tournament
The Laramie Rangers fell short of the program’s first ‘AA’ state championship in 35 years after a 9-2 loss to Cheyenne last Friday at Cowboy Field.
Laramie (41-25) trailed 5-0 through three innings. They rallied with two in the fourth and trimmed the Sixers lead to 5-2. Cheyenne answered right back with two runs in the fifth and sixth for the final margin.
Rangers’ manager Aaron Lozano wasn't disappointed with his team’s effort.
“I think we saw Ranger baseball. That’s all we can ask for. We asked the guys before the game, no matter what the outcome is if you go out on that field and you play for each other, and you give maximum effort, you’ll never look back with regrets. I think they can do that.”
Cheyenne scored three unearned runs on an error in the second inning. A two-run home run to left field by Colter McAnelly put the Sixers up 5-0.
In the fourth, Laramie responded with their two runs. Garrett Dodd reached on an error. Brandon Chavez followed with a single to right field. After a sacrifice bunt by Riley Hogsett moved the runners into scoring position, Ryan Chamberlain followed with an RBI groundout. Billy Jenkin came through with an RBI single to center field, which cut the deficit to 5-2.
Lozano added at that time it was figuring out what they can do next.
“We asked these guys to be ready to do anything and everything to help this club win, and they really gave, like I said, maximum effort. We’re really proud of the showing they put on for the home crowd.”
Unfortunately, that’s all the Rangers would get. They were held hitless over the last three frames.
Cheyenne added their four runs over the next two innings thanks to four RBI base hits.
The Rangers had only four strikeouts against the two Sixer pitchers, Bradley Feezer and Colter McAnelly, but the balls they put in play were right at Cheyenne defenders.
Lozano said, “It happens. It does, and we can’t ask these guys to do more than that (put the ball in play), and they put good swings on it.”
Dodd took the loss on the mound for Laramie. He went five innings and allowed seven runs, only four earned, on eight hits. Dodd walked five batters and struck out two. He did give up the home run. Aidan Morris and Tayton Moore each threw an inning in relief.
After a 0-2 mark at the state tournament in 2020, to finish in second place in 2021 showed great development, according to Lozano.
“This program I think is growing. I hope it’s growing. We want to see all these guys back next year. We’re really proud of the progress we’ve made over the last three years.”
Ironically, the last time Laramie hosted the Wyoming Legion Baseball ‘AA’ State Championship tournament, they also finished second to Cheyenne. That was in 2004.
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