SHERIDAN — First pitch Tuesday for a doubleheader involving the Sheridan Jets and Riverton Raiders was pushed back due to inclement weather. Rain rolled through Sheridan Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, causing adverse field conditions.
First base had a temporary pond adjacent to it and the infield as a whole needed addressing. The Jets players, coaches and parents went to work on the diamond.
By the time the game commenced, the same Jets were present. Sheridan downed Riverton 8-1 to improve to 29-9 as it continues to play its best baseball of the season.
“I feel like we’ve peaked in the last few games,” Sheridan’s Trevor Stowe said.
Stowe received the start Tuesday. After breezing through the top half of the first inning, his offense gave him more than enough run support in its half of the frame.
Sheridan put a four-spot up and immediately the tone was set for the contest.
“(The run support) helped Trevor get confident,” Sheridan head coach Austin Cowen said. “Not that he wasn’t attacking in the first, but after that — pitching with the lead — just gave him that luxury to go right at (Riverton).”
Cowen only threw Stowe for five innings, cutting him off at 75 pitches. Next week’s state tournament is on Cowen’s mind, and he doesn’t want any of his leaders to exhaust themselves in the tail end of the regular season.
“Our approach this next week leading up to state, is everyone is still going to pitch, it will just be on a much stricter pitch count,” Cowen said. “We want them to be fresh and feeling their best and have their best stuff ready in a week.”
Stowe allowed zero runs on one hit with seven strikeouts and two walks. Anthony Carlson tossed the final two frames and yielded zero earned runs on two hits with two punch outs and one walk. Mason Brafford led the offensive output, logging two RBIs. Caden Steel, Rich Hall and Shane Karajanis each knocked in a run. After the initial outburst, Sheridan scrapped across another run in the fourth inning and put the game out of reach with three in the bottom of the sixth. The Jets edged Riverton 4-2 in the nightcap. Tyler Hutton started and lasted 3 2/3 innings, surrendering one earned run on three hits with two punch outs and five walks.
The Jets travel to Douglas Thursday before one final regular-season game against Rapid City Post 320. Sheridan has already locked up its state tournament ticket — a tournament it will host July 17-21 — and Cowen, much like Stowe said, likes the way his team is trending right now.
“I think the guys are doing great,” Cowen said. “They all seem to be peaking right now at the right time.”