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SHERIDAN — Sheridan teams gave up a whopping 19 runs in the first round of the American Legion ‘B’ State Tournament yesterday. Unfortunately, the Babe Ruth All-Stars gave up 17 of them.
The All-Stars didn’t play as their name implies, losing 17-0 to the top-seeded Gillette Rustlers in the opening game of the tournament.
Singles, doubles, steals, walks and hit batters — Gillette filled the box score with just about everything except a partridge in a pear tree.
Two RBI doubles, a bad throw from the catcher to third base, a wild pitch and an RBI single helped the Rustlers jump to a big 5-0 lead in the first inning, and they didn’t let up.
They scored five more in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth before the game was called by 10-run rule after four and 1/2 innings.
For all the runs that the All-Stars gave up, the Sheridan Jets did the opposite, only allowing two to the visiting Casper Roughnecks.
In the nightcap, the Jets were involved in a 10-run rule themselves, but this time on the winning end of it.
The Jets held the Roughnecks scoreless through three innings before giving up two in the fourth. Both could have been prevented.
After pitcher Nolan McCafferty gave up his only walk of the game, Casper’s Kobe Stones hit a line drive to centerfield that was overrun by Max Lube and bounced off the top of his glove. The runner on first was off and running, too, so it would have been a chance at a double play.
McCafferty struck out the next two batters, two of his nine strikeouts, before forcing a ground ball to Jeff Shanor at shortstop. Shanor overthrew the ball to first base, allowing both runners to score.
Those two errors were only minor miscues, though, in a game that was controlled by Sheridan from the get go.
To go along with McCafferty’s winning effort on the mound, the Jets had a gamut of hits from just about everyone in the lineup.
Blake King had a perfect 4-4 night at the plate including four runs. Dominic Miller and Jeff Shanor each hit a triple, Davis Alden went 2-2 and Caleb Hoopes went 2-3.
Noah Gustafson filled out the stat sheet on his 3-3 night. He added five RBIs and two runs scored, one of which came on the play of the game.
Gustafson got a bit overzealous on his leadoff down the third baseline in the third inning. Casper catcher Kadin Eastland, who had already thrown out one Sheridan runner in the game, rifled the ball to third base, and Gustafson was caught in the middle. Pickle.
Gustafson maneuvered out of that pickle like he was Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez pickling The Beast.
As what seemed to be every Casper player, coach and fan within a 100-mile radius came to cover home plate on the play, Gustafson bobbed and weaved his way around the fielders.
He dove safely into home, avoiding the tag and giving the Jets a 6-0 lead after three innings.
After their fielding mistakes in the fourth, the Jets tidied things up, adding six more runs and giving up none before taking a 12-2 victory in five innings.
“I felt that we were focused and ready to go from the first pitch,” Jets coach Ryan Murner said after last night’s win. “I hope we can keep our focus and energy and carry it into tomorrow’s contest with Cheyenne.”
The Jets will continue their tournament run against Cheyenne tonight at 8 p.m. at Thorne-Rider Stadium.
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