SHERIDAN — It looks like the Troopers are starting to turn the corner and figure things out on the baseball field. Last night the Laramie Rangers made the trip to Sheridan only to suffer a 10-2 loss at the hands of the Troopers.
After a long and successful rodeo week, the Troopers were back on the diamond for a nine-inning game on a beautiful Monday afternoon. Their runs came in bunches, and it was a dominating performance all over the field for the home team.
Blake Godwin got the start for Sheridan, and although he wasn’t blowing batters away, he threw some decent stuff and had some help from the guys behind him.
With the scoreboard showing zeros after three innings, the Rangers had a chance to score first, but some solid defense kept the game scoreless through the top of the fourth inning. After shortstop Connor McCafferty made a nice snag on a hard hit grounder up the middle and barely missed a double play, Laramie loaded the bases with two outs. Godwin, who did a solid job of hitting the strike zone and forcing Laramie to put the ball in play, forced a fly out to left field that ended the inning.
McCafferty led off the bottom of the inning with a single on the first pitch he saw. Kris Clark immediately followed with a double off the wall that moved McCafferty to third base before Will O’Dell started an eventful night at the plate with a double that scored both McCafferty and Clark.
The Troopers scored another run in the inning off of a Tyler Stauffer single to give them a 3-0 lead after four innings of play.
Sheridan’s only miscue of the game came in the next inning when an attempted double play went awry. After Clark made an out at first, he made an errant throw to third base to get the runner who delayed his move from second base. The overthrow allowed the runner to score, cutting the lead to 3-1 after the inning.
Godwin started the sixth inning by walking two batters before coach Ben Phillips replaced him on the mound with McCafferty. Although McCafferty walked the first batter he saw to load the bases, some poor base running by the visitors helped take the pressure off of the relief pitcher.
Laramie tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but the ball was thrown outside so the batter pulled away. In what seemed to be some miscommunication between the third base coach and the runner, the runner stole home only to be easily tagged at the plate by catcher Matt Mullinax.
McCafferty responded with a strikeout and forced the next batter to lineout to shortstop. The Troopers retreated to their dugout unscathed.
In the seventh inning, the Troopers put the Rangers away for good. An error and a walk put two runners on before Clark brought them both in to score on a single through the gap between third base and shortstop.
O’Dell was OK as he trotted to first after taking a pitch to the head, and Ethan Hoopes scored two more for the Troopers on a bases clearing single. Stauffer brought the runner around to score on a double down the left-field line that gave Sheridan an 8-1 lead at the end of the inning.
O’Dell put the icing on the cake in the eighth with a two RBI-double to left. The Rangers scored in the top of the ninth on a fielder’s choice, but more solid pitching and fielding ended the inning, and the game, with the final score reading 10-2 in favor of the home team.
The 12-15 Troopers play their final home games of the season against Casper tomorrow in a doubleheader at Thorne-Rider Stadium starting at 5 p.m.