Thursday, July 22, 2010

Offense shines, pitching falters in Laramie

LARAMIE, Wyo.—Cheyenne’s pitching never found the zone Thursday night, falling to the Laramie Colts 13-7 at Cowboy Field in Laramie.

The good news: For the second consecutive game, the Grizzlies (20-15) put on a solid offensive performance, scoring seven runs on 13 hits. The Grizzlies recorded four extra-base hits and struck out just three times. On Monday night at Laramie, Cheyenne put up 11 runs on 18 hits after averaging less than three runs per game for the two and a half weeks prior.

The bad news: Uncharacteristically, the pitching faltered, allowing 13 runs on 12 hits, and most alarming, 11 walks. Bryce Reid, who is tied for the team lead with five wins, didn’t make it out of the third inning, Thursday.

Reid allowed just one earned run, but the free passes haunted him.

In the third inning, trailing 2-1, Kevin Armijo hit a groundball to second baseman Ryan Eustice. The would-be third out rolled under Eustice’s glove, though, extending the inning.

From there, a walk, two singles, two walks and another single brought in four more runs and ended Reid’s night.

Taylor Fallon relieved Reid, getting the final out of the third to leave the bases loaded, but got into trouble in the fourth, walking the first three batters before recording the first out of the inning.

Through the first four innings, the Grizzlies walked 10 batters.

Chad Correa pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and a home run, but settled down after the runs came in to retire the final five batters he faced, including a 1-2-3 sixth that needed just five pitches.
Ryan Schwenn pitched a 1-2-3 seventh before Howard Heinrich made a relief appearance, allowing one run.

Even with scoreless sixth and seventh innings, the Grizzlies’ pitching staff threw just 53 percent of its pitches for strikes.

On offense, a balanced attack hinted toward the slump being over. Eight different players collected hits, with seven scoring.

Mike Lessig paced the team with three singles and an RBI, while Jose Jauregui, Mike Wido and Mike Domenick also had multi-hit games. Wido and Kevin Logan each had two RBI and Domenick hit a fifth-inning triple to deep left-center.

The defensive highlights were the arms of outfielders Logan and Lessig. In the second inning, Logan gunned down Nick Andrews, who was trying to score on a base hit from second. The next inning, with a runner on third and no outs, Nate Smith hit a flyball to Lessig in right. Matt Henriksen, who had tripled, tried tagging up, but a great throw, in addition to nice positioning by catcher Mike Henrichs to block the plate, completed the double play.

Thursday’s loss was the Grizzlies’ first in Laramie of the season. They complete their three-game road trip at Laramie Friday night at 6:35 p.m. before returning home for their final regular-season game at Pioneer Park Saturday.

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