SHERIDAN — A brutal 6-run sixth inning cost the Sheridan Troopers in the opening round of the Wyoming AA State Tournament Wednesday afternoon. The Troopers fell to Jackson 9-6, sending Sheridan to the loser’s bracket, where another loss would end the season.
Sheridan held a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning, but Jackson’s bats came alive in a big way. Two singles and two doubles highlighted the inning for Jackson. Throw in two walks, an error and a fielder’s choice, and Sheridan found itself in a 7-2 hole by the time the inning was over.
After a single, sacrifice bunt and walk to open the inning, Mac Hollingsworth doubled to get the rally started. Another walk led to four straight Jackson batters contributing an RBI in some fashion. Sheridan finally ended the inning with a double play.
The Troopers tried to mount a comeback late in the game, something they had done on a number of occasions throughout the regular season. Even after giving up two more runs in the eighth, Sheridan had two on with two outs, trailing 9-6, in the bottom of the ninth. But a fielder’s choice put a quick halt to any potential rally, and the Troopers find themselves in a do-or-die situation.
Sheridan had 11 hits in the game, led by Race Johnston’s 3-for-5 day. Connor Jorgenson went 2 for 4, and Noah Gustafson was 2 for 5.
Gustafson pitched five innings for Sheridan, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs. Blake King, Austin Borzenski and Quinn McCafferty all found time on the mound to close the game.
Sheridan takes on Evanston — which lost 16-4 to Cheyenne Wednesday — at 10 a.m. Thursday. A win keeps the season alive for Sheridan, while a loss would send the Troopers home early.