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Rangers put Rock Springs away late

Jun. 9—The Laramie Rangers are winners of five straight.

Consistent offense lifted the Rangers to a 14-6 win on Saturday night at Cowboy Field. Laramie scored eight runs over the second and third innings, despite constant rainfall over that span.

The Stallions became the first team to score on Laramie in the Dooley Oil Classic this weekend after a sloppy start to the game from the Rangers. A lead-off single followed by a walk tested Laramie early.

"This team wasn't going to lay down," Laramie coach Aaron Lozano said. "(Rock Springs) is a team they've had a lot of success against (us). They weren't gonna let that end tonight."

Rangers starting pitcher Jace Moniz was forced to pitch his way out of a bases-loaded jam after a tricky hop at the lip of the infield grass caused the team's second error.

The lineup found two-out magic in the bottom of the frame to regain the lead. Tayton Moore stretched out a double with two outs and scored one at-bat later on a single through the left side from Brandon Chavez.

"What we were doing a month ago (offensively) just wasn't working," Lozano said. "So, whatever we have to do to make an adjustment and try something new needs to be done. So far, it's been working."

Sam Hoyt proceeded to continue the rally with a double into the right-center gap, allowing Chavez to score. After giving a run back to Rock Springs on a wild pitch in the second, the Rangers' offense decided it wasn't going to lay down.

"Our offense has helped carry us," Laramie third basemen Kaige Schriner said. "Once we got our bats going, we've had some quality wins. Even though we had some defensive errors, our offense pulled through."

Ben Malone's lead-off walk was followed by a pair of singles to load the bases. The Stallions then dug themselves a hole, as an error by the right fielder brought home two runs.

"(Playing selfless) is a huge thing, too," Schriner said. "We're now trying to hit balls where people aren't. That's helping the whole team get on base right now. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice yourself to get someone else in."

Hoyt, who reached on the error, advanced into scoring position and scored one at-bat later on an RBI single from Schriner. Schriner later scored on a fielder's choice.

Rock Springs continued to be scrappy, scratching back a couple runs in the fourth. Moniz walked the first two batters and was later relieved by brother Carson Moniz on the mound. Back-to-back errors allowed runs to score before Carson Moniz finished the inning with a strikeout.

In the next half inning, Malone advanced to third on an error and scored on a fielder's choice one at-bat later. The Rangers pushed two more across the plate on a pair of wild pitches.

Rock Springs showed one final sign of life in the top of the sixth by adding two more runs. A one-out single scored two runs, but Laramie's defense locked in and made the final two outs in the drizzling rain.

Heading into the bottom of the frame, Laramie knew four runs would end the game. Chavez singled up the middle and advanced to third base on a wild pitch.

"We have a lot of speed," Lozano said. "We have a couple of super slow guys, but every team has that. It's fun to put the speed we do have on display."

Chavez later scored on a single from Schrine, and the wheels began to fall off for Rock Springs. Trace Looney contributed a single before Will Harris and Brandon Waggoner reached by error and hit by pitch, respectively. T.R. Richardson then doubled down the right-field line, scoring the team's final two runs.

Jace Moniz's pitched 3 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits with four strikeouts and six walks. Carson Moniz tossed the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (zero earned) on three hits while fanning three and walking one.

"Our pitching has been awesome," Lozano said. "It has been all year. It stands out more in a weekend like this, because the offense is finally supporting them."

Added Schriner: "Our response tonight was really good. You never want errors, but we made up for it and that's all that matters."

Laramie (14-10 overall, 1-3 Class AA) concludes Dooley Oil Classic action at 11:30 a.m. today in a rematch against Rock Springs.

Austin Edmonds covers Laramie High, University of Wyoming and community athletics for WyoSports. He can be reached at aedmonds@wyosports.net. Follow him on X at @_austinedmonds.