The Laramie Rangers American Legion baseball team put together one of its top all-around games of the season Tuesday in the second game of a doubleheader to beat Idaho Falls, Idaho, 7-2 at Cowboy Field.
Idaho Falls won the opener 5-3.
In the nightcap, the Rangers got excellent starting pitching from Logan Pickard, timely hitting and didn’t commit an error in the field. It all added up to a dominating win.
“Out of all the games we’ve played this season, that was the one that we had good pitching, good defense behind Logan (Pickard) and put up some runs on the board to give Logan a nice cushion,” Laramie manager Brandon Ruckman said. “We’ll probably use this as an example of how well we can play when the kids are in the game the whole way. It plays a big part.”
Pickard was in command from the start, allowing only a one-out double in the second and a two-out single in the fifth, his final inning of work.
Pickard also struck out six Idaho Falls batters while walking only three.
The only run Pickard allowed came in the third inning on a walk, a ground out, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
“(Pickard) has pretty good velocity on the ball and (Idaho Falls) were struggling to put the ball in play and catch up to it,” Ruckman said. “Then, he had some nasty off-speed pitches this evening. You add that together and it’s pretty hard to touch him at the plate.”
Matt Smith pitched the last two innings in relief. Smith gave up two hits and one run while striking out two.
The Rangers (10-16) scored in all but one inning to slowly pull away.
Laramie scored in the first inning with two outs when Reston Morehouse singled, stole second and scored on a Caleb Eaton single.
Two two-out singles by Blake Moore and Albert Steiner gave Laramie a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Reid Baty tripled home Michael Schutterle in the third with Baty scoring on a wild pitch for a 5-1 lead.
Laramie then scored single runs in the fourth and sixth innings by Moore.
Moore doubled and scored from second after tagging up on a fly ball and scoring on a throwing error. In the sixth, Moore singled, stole second and scored on a Steiner single.
Moore was 3-for-4 in the second game while Steiner was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Ramon Gomez, Eaton and Baty each drove in one run.
“The second game we did a much better job of moving runners around and getting them across the plate,” Ruckman said.
In the opener, the Rangers fell behind 5-0 in the fifth inning before attempting a comeback.
Laramie scored a single run in the fifth and two in the sixth to cut the margin to 5-3. The Rangers had the tying runs on base in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t get the big hit.
Will Yates led the Laramie offense with three hits while Smith was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Eaton also drove in a run for the Rangers.
Morehouse started and took the loss despite five solid innings. He gave up five runs (three earned) and struck out four. Gomez pitched the final two innings.
One issue for Laramie was that Idaho Falls, who has a tournament this weekend, threw five pitchers in the first game, never letting the Rangers batters get more than a couple looks at each one.
“We couldn’t get the big hits at the right times,” Ruckman said.
“We needed to string together some hits and we didn’t do that. The more times through, the more you can time them up. We just need to do a little better job when that happens of being a little more disciplined at the plate.”
Laramie will finish the week with a road doubleheader at noon Thursday at North Platte, Nebraska.
IDAHO FALLS 5,
Idaho Falls 020 210 0 —5 6 2
Laramie 000 012 0 —3 10 1
Idaho Falls, P. Wilson, K. Belkrap (3), C. Dompier (6), B. Thompson (7) and C. Noit; Laramie, Reston Morehouse, Ramon Gomez (6) and Caleb Eaton. WP—Wilson. LP—Morehouse. Sv—Thompson. 2Bs—Idaho Falls, Wilson; Laramie, none. 3Bs— Idaho Falls, B. Bull; Laramie, Will Yates. HRs—none
IDAHO FALLS 2
Idaho Falls 001 000 1 —2 2 4
Laramie 122 101 x —7 10 0
Idaho Falls, Z. Bee, N. Rose (3) J. Sorenson (5), E. Jones (6) and J. Elany; Laramie, Logan Pickard, Matt Smith (6) and Caleb Eaton. WP—Pickard. LP—Bee. Sv—none. 2Bs—Idaho Falls, Bee; Laramie, Blake Moore, Spencer Smithbaker. 3Bs— Idaho Falls, none; Laramie, Reid Baty. HRs—none