SHERIDAN — After Kris Clark hit a two-run bomb that led to a four-run first inning last night, the hitting stalled for the Sheridan Troopers as they split a doubleheader with the Cody Cubs at Thorne-Rider Stadium.
Coy Steel and Jeff Shanor sandwiched a Dominic Miller sacrifice bunt to lead off the game for Sheridan, and it looked like the Troopers were going to dominate the Cubs. Clark, batting cleanup, didn’t waste much time in the box before belting a no-doubt homer over the 346-feet sign in center field.
Turner Martini added an RBI single, and suddenly the Troopers were up 4-0 after just an inning on the field.
Clark added a leadoff double in the third inning and scored on a Nolan McCafferty sacrifice fly, and a collection of errors scored Steel in the fourth.
After that, the hitting faltered and the scoring came to a screeching halt.
The Troopers held off a late Cody rally to steal the game-one victory, but the momentum had already shifted by the start of game two.
Cody’s late game-one rally came on a group of shallow singles — enough of them to force Sheridan head coach Ben Phillips to bring his outfielders in closer to the dirt.
It didn’t matter, though.
Game-one singles became game-two wild pitches. Easy groundballs turned into errant throws across the infield, and Sheridan couldn’t produce hits to keep up with the Cubs.
Cody scored two early runs as Sheridan pitcher Quinton Brooks struggled to connect with catcher Blake Godwin.
Brooks buckled down for the middle-inning stretch, but a collapse in the fifth resulted in a game-sealing inning for Cody.
The Cubs began stretching their bloop singles into hard-hit doubles, and they strung them together to capitalize on base runners. Cody scored six in the inning to break things open and take an 8-0 lead.
To top it off, Brooks wasn’t getting much support at the plate.
Sheridan had a chance to close the gap in the second inning but turned three of their six total hits into stranded base runners. They would close the game in the same fashion, leaving two stranded in the bottom of the sixth before losing 10-0.
Along with Clark’s early hitting, Godwin was a bright spot for the otherwise inconsistent Troopers.
Godwin, who got the game one start, pitched a complete game for the win in one of Sheridan’s best performances on the mound this season. Other than a minor lapse in the fifth inning in which he gave up four runs, he was pretty much in control of the Cody batters.
He allowed 12 hits, but he hit the strike zone on 70 percent of his throws and forced Cody into popups (12) and grounders (5) at opportune times. He added four strikeouts and never allowed the Cubs to string together hits.
But Godwin’s control on the mound and Clark’s power in the box never trickled down to their teammates, and the evening was another example of the Troopers up-and-down season.
Sheridan sits at 13-13 (.500) in a season that’s seen almost as many games canceled as played. The Troopers’ games with Wheatland today have been canceled, and they won’t play again until July 15 against Casper. The game is scheduled to be in Casper but may be moved to Thorne-Rider Stadium.
The Troopers will participate in their annual alumni game this Saturday at noon at Thorne-Rider Stadium.