CHEYENNE – En Fuego’s offense had too much firepower for the Laramie Rangers on Tuesday afternoon at Powers Field in Cheyenne.
Laramie’s American Legion baseball team opened the Continental Amateur Baseball Association wood bat tournament on Tuesday with a doubleheader and dropped their second game of the day to the Seattle-based team, 18-6 in five innings.
“I think playing this team shows us that we’ve come a long way,” said Rangers head coach Aaron Lozano. “That’s a really good team we just played against. They’re phenomenal, so hats off to them.”
En Fuego started the scoring early when they recorded three of their 19 hits in the first inning, which led to two runs. The Rangers kept pace with their opponent by scoring one run of their own in the bottom of the first frame, thanks to an error by En Fuego’s pitcher.
Laramie (13-26) couldn’t keep up with En Fuego’s scoring over the next four innings. En Fuego put three more runs on the board in the top of the second inning before pitcher Tyler Oppie held them scoreless in the top of the third. Laramie failed to score a run in the second and third innings.
The Rangers managed to get another run on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Caleb Eaton was walked, stole second base and reached home on another error by En Fuego. However, En Fuego extended their lead by two in the top of the fourth, courtesy of a two-run home run to left field.
En Fuego pulled away from Laramie in the top of the fifth inning by scoring 11 runs on 11 hits. They combined for seven singles, two doubles and two triples before their big inning was finally ended by Michael Schutterle.
Laramie went down swinging as they were able to put four late runs on the board in the bottom of the final inning before their comeback was cut short.
Darek Squires was able to get the Rangers their first hit of the game when he hit a blooper to shallow center field. Alex Flores had a sacrifice bunt down the first base line to move Squires over to second base and Eaton was the next batter up when he was walked for the second time of the game.
Catcher Aidan Morris was next to enter the batters box and shot a double to center field which brought Squires and Eaton home. Ben Ruckman stepped up to the plate and drove home Morris on an RBI single before Schutterle smacked a triple to left-center field and allowed for Ruckman to score Laramie’s final run.
“I’d like for us to be a little more aggressive at the plate early in the game,” said Lozano. “We don’t hit for three of four innings and then come out and score six runs late in the game. I’d just like to see us put pressure on the pitcher early on.”
The Rangers also dropped the first game of their doubleheader to the Northern Colorado Roughnecks, 12-4. The Roughnecks took an early lead as they were ahead 4-1 after the first inning.
Northern Colorado scored a run in each of the third and fourth innings before Laramie was able to cut the deficit by one and scored three of their own in the bottom of the fifth when Oppie hit his second triple to bring in two runs. Schutterle brought Oppie home with an RBI single.
Northern Colorado scored five more runs in the top of the fifth and one more in the top of the sixth to seal their victory as Laramie failed to bring another batter home.
“We just need to overall play better (today),” said Schutterle. “Our pitchers need to pitch more strikes and avoid walks, our defense need to field better and we just need to be able to string together hits.”
Laramie will look to bounce back when they square off with the Rocky Mountain Oysters at 2:30 p.m. today at Powers Field in Cheyenne.