CHEYENNE — Gillette capitalized on walks, hit batters and errors during a 5-1 win over Laramie Thursday at the Continental Amateur Baseball Association wood-bat tournament at Powers Field.
The Rangers (13-28) surrendered just three hits, but committed four errors, walked six hitters and beaned two more.
“Errors have kind of been our nemesis all season,” first-year Laramie manager Aaron Lozano said. “We always seem to allow one big inning. We didn’t really do that (Thursday), but giving up three runs in the first two innings wasn’t good.
“We just have to make plays.”
The Roughriders took the lead during the first inning. Tanner Richards reached on an error, advanced to third on a single, and then scored on an error to give Gillette 1-0 lead.
Rangers started Ben Ruckman, who hit the first two batters of the second, and the Riders turned those free passes into two more runs and a 3-0 advantage.
Laramie walked the first three batters of the fourth, and a wild pitch allowed Kaleb Lewis to score from third for a 4-0 edge. Three of the first four Gillette hitters singled in the fifth inning to push the lead to 5-0.
Riders right-hander Brody Richardson struck out 12 batters during his seven-inning complete-game outing. He gave up just three hits, and didn’t allow a Laramie base runner past first until shortstop Caleb Eaton tripled to right field in the sixth inning.
“(Richardson) threw pretty hard and pounded the zone with strikes,” Eaton said. “We didn’t have a great approach when we went to the plate.
“It seemed like he was throwing a lot of first-pitch fastballs, and we didn’t do a very good job of being aggressive and jumping on them.”
Laramie faces Cheyenne Post 6 at 7:30 p.m. tonight. It closes out pool play against Azteca Baseball Club of Pueblo, Colorado, at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“This is a good tournament for us because we’re seeing really high-level competition,” Lozano said. “We have our conference slate coming up next week, and nothing is going to prepare us for that better than high-level competition like this.”