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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Troopers traveled to Douglas last night and played their best baseball of the season, blowing out the Cats in both games of their doubleheader, 12-5 and 13-3.
After questioning his team’s leadership after an extra-inning loss on Monday, coach Ben Phillips said his squad responded by stringing together two all-around solid performances in Douglas.
The Troopers have batted with a lack of confidence all season but recorded 16 hits in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader, with RBIs coming from up and down the lineup card.
Turner Martini led the team, hitting 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Tyler Stauffer also went 3-4 with an RBI, while Coy Steel brought in two on 3-5 hitting. Kris Clark and Matt Mullinax each hit 2-5 with one and two RBIs, respectively.
“All we did in practice was work on hitting the ball to the right side of the field,” Phillips said. “I think of our 16 hits, 10 of them were to the right side. We finally had success and hit the ball where it was pitched instead of striking out.”
Although their 16 hits were probably enough to seal the victory, Blake Godwin was some added insurance for the Troopers on the mound. Godwin threw six innings for Sheridan, only giving up four hits while striking out six.
“It was Tyler’s second really good start in a row,” Phillips said. “He threw a really good game against Casper last week, too. He threw strikes in back-to-back games, and I was really glad to see that.”
After winning game one 12-5, the Troopers didn’t hold anything back in the second game, taking the 13-3 victory by 10-run-rule in five innings.
Kyle Atkinson got the start and pitched all five innings for Sheridan. Although he walked five batters, he only gave up one hit to the Cats and threw nine strikeouts.
It was the team’s emotion, though, that most impressed coach Phillips. Trailing 2-1 in the third inning, the team picked up their intensity and scored nine runs to put the game away.
“We had a couple guys step up and show some emotion,” Phillips said. “They wanted to win. They talked to their teammates and really rallied everybody together.
“We’ve been a pretty emotionless team all year,” Philips added. “That’s fine, I’m not a huge fan of being all ‘rah-rah’ cheerleader, but we need to just be blue collar and go out and get the job done.”
The Troopers did just that. After their nine-run inning, they added three more runs late in the game to finally finish off the Cats and head back to Sheridan with two big victories.
“The guys really gelled and were feeding off of each other,” Phillips said. “In doubleheaders, especially on the road after driving for three hours, you really have to play with emotion to get an edge. We played with passion tonight, and I hope we can continue to do that the rest of the season.”
The Troopers will look to continue their hot streak when they travel to Cody for two more games on Sunday.