SHERIDAN — After a rough outing in their most recent game, the Sheridan Troopers had a couple of encouraging games to get back on track Friday.
Despite a close 4-3 loss to Rapid City 320 to begin the Black Hills Classic Friday morning in Rapid City, S.D., the Troop whipped up on a team from Gering, Neb. 13-0, earning a mercy-rule win after three innings.
Kyle Atkinson threw 37 strikes out of his 69 pitches, not allowing a run while he struck out seven batters. Atkinson showed potential for dominance in the Troopers Thursday, June 20 loss to Billings, but struggled to maintain his command. He had returned to the lineup just a few weeks before, joining the team mid-way through the season.
Skyler Holwell hit a third inning grand slam to lock up a seven-run frame and end the contest. It was his second homer of the year.
Sheridan was 12 for 21 at the plate, a significant improvement from their loss to Billings when they were 7 for 31.
Third baseman Mark Munson also had four RBIs as he went 2-3 at the plate. Tony Mort, Matt Mullinax and Drew Adriaens each had two hits as well. Sheridan limited its strikeouts, something they’ve fought early in the year, sitting down just four times in the contest.
In the loss, Sheridan led early, 1-0 after a Connor McCafferty single scored Kaul Eisele.
Rapid City scored three in the third after an error and a passed ball, but Sheridan got two back in the top of the sixth inning when Will O’Dell sacrificed, scoring Holwell and Ethan Hoopes. Rapid City took the game in the bottom frame, tacking on their final run when a runner scored from third on a Troopers pick-off attempt to break the 3-3 tie.
Adriaens went four innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, with runs scoring on two errors. He struck out seven.
Kevin Bakkehaug recorded the final six outs allowing one hit and one run.
Sheridan (10-12) plays two games today: Watertown, S.D., at 10 a.m. before a game with Miles City at 5 p.m.
Their Sunday contest will be determined by their Saturday results.
Sheridan returns home Tuesday at 6 p.m. to play the Gillette Roughriders at Thorne-Rider Stadium.
The Jets are home today at 1 and 3:30 p.m. against the Billings Regulators.