Landon McAnelly is a tough out for Cheyenne Post 6

May 25—CHEYENNE — Matt McAnelly tried to teach both of his sons to bat right-handed as he tossed them foam balls in the family's basement.

He'd position their right hand on top of their left on the bat and point them toward the equivalent of the right-handed batter's box. Colter took to it. Landon was another story.

He would hold his hands the proper way, but he'd point his right side toward Matt and swing the bat like a lefty.

"I'd hit with my hands crossed," Landon McAnelly said with a grin. "Eventually, my dad decided to just teach me how to hold my hands and hit lefty."

McAnelly has left opposing pitchers feeling similarly frustrated in his 82 games on the Cheyenne Post 6 varsity roster.

The junior infielder is batting .380 (27-for-71) with four doubles and 23 RBI heading into the Sixers' weekend series at North Platte, Nebraska. The teams play a single game starting at 5 p.m. today. They wrap up the three-game set with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Sunday.

"He's such a tough out," Cheyenne manager Ty Lain said. "His swing-and-miss percentage is really low. He had a contact rate of nearly 90% last summer, which is a crazy number. His bat-to-ball skills are elite."

McAnelly either fouled off a pitch or put the ball in play on 88.3% of his at-bats last season, his first with Post 6's varsity club. That ranked second among Cheyenne's regulars. Overall, McAnelly batted .317 (46-of-145) with five doubles and 33 RBI.

McAnelly currently leads the Sixers in contact percentage (97.2%).

"The strongest part of my hitting has always been getting the ball in play, doing something with it and making the defense work," he said. "Weak outs happen sometimes, but the defense still has to make a play. I'd rather that than not get the ball in play at all."

McAnelly primarily served as Cheyenne's designated hitter while seeing some time at second base. He has played first, second and third this spring. That should continue throughout the summer, giving Lain a great deal of lineup flexibility.

McAnelly's contact percentage benefits the Sixers in many ways. Being able to foul off pitches frustrates pitchers into mistakes and allows his teammates to see more of the hurlers' repertoires. Being able to put the ball into play forces defenders to field the ball, transfer it to their throwing hand, make a good throw and have someone catch that throw. It also increases the likelihood of productive outs.

"How many times do you see teams get a guy to third base and get a (strikeout) and not be able to get that guy in?" Lain said. "If you have a guy like Landon, you feel really comfortable with guys on third or guys on second with less than two outs. He's going to do something productive with his (at-bat) and move a runner.

"He did that for us last year, and he's doing it for us now. The only difference is he's doing it with more authority and clean contact. He's not just making contact, he's barreling up the ball and hitting it hard into play."

Natural hand-eye coordination is essential to being able to make contact. McAnelly has that, but has honed the skill through old-fashioned work ethic, Lain said.

"It's about reps, seeing the level of pitching we do and getting time to make adjustments," the coach said. "He's as hard of a worker as you'll ever find. He's followed in his brother's footsteps in that regard.

"Landon puts his nose down and goes to work every single day."

McAnelly's older brother Colter was a four-year standout for Post 6 and now plays at the University of Utah. The best part of McAnelly cracking the varsity roster as a sophomore was being able to spend a summer playing with Colter.

"That was really cool," McAnelly said. "I didn't take any moment for granted last year. It's all going to be a big part of who I am this year."

Let the news come to you

Get any of our free email newsletters — news headlines, sports, arts & entertainment, state legislature, CFD news, and more.

Explore newsletters

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