CHEYENNE – Ryan Chamberlain has been dominant during the vast majority of his starts this summer.
The Cheyenne hurler is in complete control of the opposition. He’s comfortable using all of his pitches in any situation.
That was not the case against Triple Crown in the championship of the Mustangs Summer Classic on Saturday.
Cheyenne’s best pitcher was a bit off after closing out the semifinal against Liberty Common, and it showed early against Triple Crown. Chamberlain ran into a stout lineup that seemed to square up every pitch he threw in what ended up becoming a 15-3 rout at Powers Field.
“They’ve got some really good hitters over there,” first-year Mustangs coach Sheldon Baxter said. “They’ve got some big, strong guys, and they were just able to barrel everything we threw up.
“My hat’s off to them. They just beat us fair and square.”
The Wolves flexed their offensive prowess early and often. They tagged Chamberlain with two hits and, with the help of a throwing error, jumped out to 2-0 lead after the first inning. They piled on in the third inning, which proved to be the most taxing for Chamberlain, who yielded six hits, including three extra-base hits. Chance Pebley capped the six-run inning with a three-run triple to deep right field and what was once a two-run game was now a 9-0 lead for the Wolves.
“They hit some balls that were tough to hit,” said Chamberlain, who allowed nine runs, four earned, off 11 hits, struck out three and walked one. “You just have to tip your cap at that point. They’re a good team.
“Maybe if I had a little more movement on my fastball, it would’ve been a lot better, but that wasn’t there. So, I had to lean a little bit more on my offspeed and then you fall behind, and you have to throw a fastball and they put it down the opposite-field line, you have to tip your cap.”
Meanwhile, as Chamberlain struggled, his counterpart, Logan Moser, dominated.
The Triple Crown right-hander was perfect through two innings, got into a bit of trouble after consecutive walks in the third, but was able to work his way out of trouble by stranding both Cheyenne runners.
“He was able to throw all three of his pitches for strikes,” Baxter said. “He was throwing fastball, curveball and a changeup for strikes, and we had the one inning where we started to see it really well, but he was just really good.”
Cheyenne (15-17) finally got to Moser in the fourth inning.
Back-to-back base hits by Chamberlain and Dylan Doan and a walk issued to Cade Connell loaded the bases for Orry Davis. The Mustangs’ left fielder didn’t like the first pitch he saw, but he jumped on the second offering from Moser for an RBI infield single to cut the deficit to 9-1.
“It was pretty close to the middle, and that’s where I like mine, and that’s where I can drive them,” Davis said. “I swung, I kept my hands in and I drove the ball up the middle. I knew I had to drive it up the middle because the bases were loaded, and I didn’t want to get a double play.”
The Mustangs added two more runs in the inning to pull within six, but the Wolves kept piling on with six more runs in the bottom half of the inning to end it via mercy rule.
“That’s a good team,” Chamberlain said. “We’re going to be that team in a few years.”
Less than a day after coming up short, Cheyenne completed what it wasn’t able to against Liberty Common.
The Mustangs couldn’t finish off a late rally Friday night, but they did Saturday by scoring three runs in the fifth inning to come away with an 11-10 victory over Liberty Common in a semifinal of the Mustangs Summer Classic at Powers Field.
Cheyenne (15-16) took a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the second, but Liberty Common answered with six runs to take a 7-4 advantage. Cheyenne responded by tying it and taking an 8-7 edge in the fourth, only watch it turned into a 10-8 deficit.
Luke Moore went 3 for 3 with three RBI, while Cade Connell and Chance Miller also picked up three hits each.
Ryan Chamberlain posted his first save of the season by closing out the fifth inning.
TRIPLE CROWN 15, CHEYENNE 3
Cheyenne...... 000 3 – 3 2 4
Triple Crown...... 216 6 – 15 16 1
Cheyenne pitching: Chamberlain, Jarosh (4) and Connell. Triple Crown pitching: Moser and Martinez.
W: Moser. L: Chamberlain (5-2).
2B: Triple Crown 8 (Cook, Martinez 2, Togher, Benes 2, Pebley, Kimura). 3B: Triple Crown 1 (Pebley).
CHEYENNE 11, LIBERTY COMMON 10
Cheyenne ………. 223 13 – 11 16 7
Liberty Common 160 30 – 10 9 4
Cheyenne pitching: Doan, Brain (2), Chamberlain (5) and Jackson. Liberty Common pitching: D. Wagner, Ikeler (3), Hodges (5) and C. Wagner.
W: Brain (2-0). L: Hodges. S: Chamberlain (1).
2B: Liberty Common 3 (Bossia, Wagner 2).