SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Jets started off the Wyoming American Legion State B Tournament with a lopsided 14-2 victory over Rock Springs at Thorne-Rider Stadium Wednesday night.
The game was over after five innings due to the scoring margin being greater than 10.
Austin Cowen, Sheridan Jets head coach, said the shorter game allowed the team to build its confidence and have fresher legs moving forward.
“Could not have drawn it up any better,” Cowen said. “Trevor Stowe was under 60 pitches, he will be eligible to pitch in two days. Offensively we stung the ball, executed outstanding on bunts and overall it was a phenomenal first game.”
Cowen said the plan was to keep Stowe under the 60 pitches so that he would be available later in the tournament.
Stowe pitched the first four innings for the Jets, striking out seven batters, walking one and allowing one run in the top of the third inning.
“I was feeling good today and my arm felt good,” Stowe said.
Stowe said his fastballs were working well against a team that struggled with hitting.
Shawn Barrett closed the game for the Jets, allowing one run in the top of the fifth inning.
Offensively, the Jets were led by shortstop Rich Hall, who had three hits and three RBIs. Stowe added three more RBIs and two hits to go along with his defensive performance. Brock Steel led the Jets with three runs scored, he also had two hits and an RBI.
“It was a good way to come out and set the tone,” Hall said. “We did a good job coming out energetic, executing bunts and plays really well.”
The Jets started Stowe on the mound. Starting off slow, Stowe walked the lead batter for Rock Springs. The following batter grounded out and Stowe struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Jets had a good night of hitting, sending four runners around the bases in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Brock Steel was walked and Stowe hit a single. Catcher Hunter Stone flew out to center field and first baseman Caden Steel hit a single to load up the bases for Hall. A single from Hall sent Brock Steel home, giving the Jets their first points of the night.
Combined with an error from Rock Springs, Stowe and Caden Steel scored off a hit from Anthony Carlson. Carlson reached second base. Hall reached home plate off a ground out by second baseman Cale Hamrick. Brennan Mortenson flew out to end the inning, leaving a runner on second base.
Stowe saw three batters in the second inning, striking out two of them. One batter hit a single but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Stone received the pitch from Stowe and quickly threw the ball to Hamrick, who tagged the runner out.
Sheridan continued its hot hitting in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three more runs. Left fielder David Almaraz started the inning with a single hit. Brock Steel hit one to center field allowing Steel to reach third base and for Almaraz to score. Stowe hit a single, allowing for Brock Steel to score. Later in the inning Hall hit a single, bringing Stone home.
Jets were unable to score in the third inning, but reached the 10-run margin in the fourth inning after scoring seven runs. Scoring in the seventh inning was Caden Steel, Hall, Carlson, Hamrick, Brennan Mortenson, Almaraz and Brock Steel. Bunting by the Jets helped advance runners around the bases and added to the efficiency of the team’s offense.
“We had timely hits when we needed them, got bunts down when coach asked us to,” Hall said about the Jets offensive performance.
Hall said bunting adds another layer to the Jets offense. It forces opposing defense to think of how to defend the bunts and keeps the defense guessing.
Jets will face Powell at Thorne-Rider Stadium Thursday at 7 p.m.
Powell defeated Laramie in the first round. Cody will face Evanston after both teams were victorious in the opening round. Laramie and Rock Springs and Gillette and Cheyenne will fight to stay alive in the tournament.