CHEYENNE – Gillette had the tying run on third and the winning run on first, but Cheyenne American Legion Post 6 got the final out for a 7-6 nine-inning victory at the Wyoming Class AA state baseball tournament Friday night in Rock Springs.
The win puts the Sixers in the driver’s seat at the state tournament as they are the lone unbeaten team remaining in the event.
Cheyenne reliever Colter McAnelly got Brody Richardson to ground out to second base to end the game.
McAnelly also drove home the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the ninth. Nico Vite, who drew a walk to start the inning, advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw.
McAnelly struck out seven batters in four innings of relief work. He gave up just three hits and one run.
Cheyenne (49-20) faces Sheridan at 7 p.m. today, while Gillette takes on Casper in an elimination game at 4 p.m. The state tournament utilizes a modified double-elimination bracket. Post 6 will make the state championship game regardless of whether it beats Sheridan today. Should Sheridan win, the Troopers would face the Gillette-Casper winner for the right to take on Post 6 in a winner-take-all championship game.
Early on Friday, it looked like Gillette would be in prime position for a state title. The Roughriders capitalized on Post 6 errors and home runs to take a 5-0 lead after three innings. Cheyenne finished with five errors.
Post 6 rallied for a 6-5 lead with a six-run fourth inning. Four of those runs came on infielder Nico Vite’s grand slam to right field.
Gillette knotted the score 6-6 when Tanner Richards led off the sixth inning with a solo home run.
McAnelly and Andrew Johnson both had two hits for Post 6. Cheyenne starter Travis Onisto struck out four batters, and allowed just three hits during his five innings of work.
CHEYENNE 7, GILLETTE 6 (9)
Cheyenne…… 000 600 001 – 7 9 5
Gillette…… 032 001 000 – 6 6 3
Cheyenne pitching: Onisto, McAnelly (6) and Lobmeyer and Anderson (6). Gillette pitching: Race, Richardson (5), Sylte (7), Powell (9) and Richardson and Richards (5).
W: McAnelly (5-3). L: Sylte.
HR: Cheyenne 1 (Vite), Gillette 3 (Powell, Richardson, Richards).