The Cheyenne Grizzlies scored twice in the second and two more in the fifth, and Josh Boyer set down Laramie hitters over six innings to put the Grizzlies back in the win column with a 4-2 win over the visiting Laramie Colts Monday evening.
The Grizzlies jumped on Laramie starter Chris Pfau for two runs in the second inning, which ended up being his final inning of work.
With one out, first baseman Mike Domenick singled to left. Two batters later Mike Lessig, Andy Athans and Mike Wido hit back-to-back-to-back singles to bring home two runs.
“All week we’ve been struggling and Coach has been telling us to go up to the plate with a game plan,” Wido said. “I think it’s starting to come around for us. We got the win (Monday night) because everyone did their jobs.”
Athans’ base hit ricocheted off of the first-base bag and into foul territory, allowing Domenick to score from second.
In the fifth, the Grizzlies plated two more when Wido recorded his second hit of the game, followed by a double to right-center by Kevin Logan. A Jose Jauregui groundout scored Wido and a Domenick sac fly brought home Logan.
“Offensively, the difference was in the past week we’ve been getting guys on, getting them in scoring position, but not getting the big two-out hit, or scoring them on a groundout or flyout with less than two outs like we did (Monday night),” Holley said. “We haven’t been scoring runs by using outs. (Monday) we did.”
On the mound, Boyer got through the first three innings by facing just 10 hitters. In the fourth, two Laramie runners reached, but Boyer struck out Brian Patrick to escape the jam.
“I’ve thrown well against Laramie this year and I went into (Monday night’s) game with the same attitude and mentality,” Boyer said. “I was pretty pumped about this game. After getting a rough outing last time out, I was eager to get back on the mound and put up strong numbers and get a W.”
After a 1-2-3 fifth, Boyer got into trouble in the sixth by walking the first two hitters, then surrendering a double to deep left field. He got the next three hitters out, though, including strikeouts to Patrick, who struck out four time Monday (as did Matt Cervantes), to end the inning.
“I’ve gotta stop walking guys early in the inning,” he said. “That’s what cost me two runs after I felt like I had been cruising through the game.”
Josh worked six innings, allowing two runs on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts to pick up his fifth win to tie for the team high.
Ryan Schwenn pitched the seventh and got the first two outs of the eighth, but a Kevin Armijo double forced Holley to bring in closer Jack Winters for the four-out save.
“The hitter that was due up (Nick Gentili) when we brought Jack in is in our conference (Redland’s conference during the school year),” Holley said. He had no success against Jack. Jack’s kind of our safety, go-to guy.”
Winters ended up walking Gentili, but got the final out of the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 ninth, with two strikeouts, to earn his sixth save of the season. The three pitchers limited Laramie to five hits, striking out nine.
“Even though we only scored four runs, Josh pitched a great game, and Schwenn came in and shut it down and Jack came in and shut it down,” Holley said.
After a difficult week in which Cheyenne had lost five of its past six games, the Grizzlies hope Monday’s victory is momentum to fuel them for the rest of the season.
“It’s a huge win, a huge win,” Wido said. “Everyone’s working really hard, trying to push through this slump and I know we’ll break through and play like how we can.”
Cheyenne is next in action Thursday vs. first-place Fort Collins at Pioneer Park.
“Other teams have made adjustments to us since we’ve seen each other so many times, and I think we’re starting to make the adjustments,” Holley said. “I think that we’re going to contend for a championship and I think guys just needed to get this win to reaffirm that. Hopefully we can take this win and use it to roll off several more, like we have in the past.”