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Cheyenne Post 6 focused on 'next pitch' after manager Ty Lain's sudden departure

Jun. 7—GREELEY, Colo. — Gloves popping and dugout chatter ushered in the end of an emotional week for Cheyenne Post 6 on Friday morning.

The sounds provided a familiar comfort and served as a reminder that there is still a lot of baseball to be played after manager Ty Lain stepped down from his post on Wednesday to take a job as an assistant coach at Garden City (Kansas) Community College.

"We had a day to take it all in, process it and regroup," senior Corey Williams said. "As soon as we stepped between those lines, it was business as usual and nothing changes."

The Sixers dispatched of Lightning Baseball 14-1 in four innings to open the Aaron Phillips Memorial Tournament. They closed the day with a 9-1 win over North Side Dirt Devils Black.

Lain guided Cheyenne to seven Wyoming Class AA state championships and the semifinals of the 2023 American Legion World Series. Post 6's players are happy for their former skipper and excited to see him pursue his dream of coaching at the college level. That didn't lessen the shock of his sudden departure, though.

"It's been a big change and adapting to a new energy," senior shortstop Mason Tafoya said. "Coach Lain is really intense and always brought that out of us. Now, it's the job of all the guys in the dugout to step up and bring that same level of intensity.

"We have a bunch of guys who lead in different ways. We still have everything here we need to accomplish our goals."

Friday's contest marked the first time since 1997 someone with a surname other than Lain has been in charge of Cheyenne's top American Legion squad for an extended stretch. Tagg Lain returned to the reins of the program in 1998 and guided the Sixers to 13 more state titles before stepping down in 2015. Ty Lain took over the following summer and helped Cheyenne become the first Wyoming team to advance to the ALWS.

Longtime assistant Gary Harley was tabbed by the Post 6 board with serving as interim manager for the remainder of the summer. While he has the title of manager, Harley said he won't be alone in guiding the Sixers through the remainder of the season. Assistants David Lazarus and Ethan Casey continue in their roles, and all of them will have a say, Harley said.

"I really don't feel like it's me running the show," the coach said. "Coach Lazarus, coach Casey and all of the other coaches up and down our program have all the players' backs. The guy writing the lineup changed, the voice changed and I can't reach the top shelf as easily as coach Lain can, but those are the only changes.

"What matters hasn't changed. I trust these guys, and I'm going to lean on the guys to take responsibility for their season. I'm not running anything, they're running the show, and I'm just trying to stay out of their way and guide them a little."

Ty Lain wouldn't have taken another coaching opportunity in the middle of the season if he felt like it was going to be detrimental to the Post 6 program, Harley said. The goals remain a state championship and another trip to the ALWS in Shelby, North Carolina.

"We're the same team and have all the tools we need in this dugout to do anything we want to do," Harley said. "The guys know that, they have seen that, and they've processed everything and are moving on. We're all about the 'next pitch' here, and the guys have done a good job with focusing on that.

"You can't talk about Ty Lain with enough regard, not just as a coach, but what he means to all of us individually. This was a really, really hard decision for him, but it was an opportunity he couldn't pass up. He's going to go chase a dream and show everyone that 'The Sixer Way' will work everywhere."

Sixers sweep first day of tourney

Ten runs in the first two innings helped lead the Sixers to victory over Lightning Baseball 18U. Nolan Horton and Caden Westby picked up RBI singles in the first inning, while Hayden Swaen picked up a two-run home run. They followed that up in the second inning with RBI hits from Braden Pearson, Landon McAnelly, Kaed Coates and Peyton Seelye.

Pearson finished the game with a team-best four RBI on a 3-for-3 clip from the plate. Coates went 2-for-3, as well. Corey Williams picked up the win on the mound, allowing just one run and five hits in four innings of work.

Post 6 got off to another fast start in the second game of the day against Dirt Devils Black, scoring four runs in the first to take a 9-1 win. Williams, Pearson and Ethan Reisdorfer all picked up RBI in the first inning to help the Sixers pull away.

McAnelly, Coates and Nolan Horton all had multi-hit performances in the contest. Horton and Coates went 2-for-3 from the plate, while McAnelly went 2-for-4. The trio combined for three RBI, as well.

The Sixers will be back in action against NOCO Elite and Greely GOJO's 25/26 today at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on X at @jjohnke.