CHEYENNE – If there was one fault to the Cheyenne American Legion Post 6 baseball team’s dominant 21-5 win over Rock Springs in the first half of the doubleheader, it would have to be in walks allowed. The Sixers walked 11 batters in the opening game, seven of which came in the first two innings.
That number drastically changed in the second game. Marcus George drew his first start of the season and was challenged by his coach to compete and throw strikes.
George responded by throwing three hitless innings and allowed just one walk to start the 23-0 victory.
“He was fantastic,” Post 6 manager Ty Lain said. “His velocity was up, he was competing in the strike zone and mixing two pitches. For his first start ever on the varsity, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. But he handled his emotions well and was confident. We were proud of the way he pitched.”
Sixers ace, and University of Utah signee Colter McAnelly came in to close out the game after the third inning. The senior has been hampered by a right wrist injury he sustained during the basketball season and had only pitched one inning entering Saturday’s contest.
McAnelly’s performance Saturday was a return to form. He pitched the final two innings of the game, surrendering no hits, no earned runs and no walks while recording five strikeouts.
While not fully healthy just yet, the performance on the mound served as a big confidence boost, McAnelly said.
“It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that a wrist injury shouldn’t affect anything,” he said. “I thought it might impact my hitting more, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I am definitely still working my way back up, buy (my arm) feels good.”
However, it wasn’t just the pitching that came alive for Post 6. After putting up 19 hits and 21 runs in the first half of the double header, the Post 6 batters carried that momentum into the second game with 22 hits and 21 RBI.
In total between the two games, the Sixers outscored Rock Springs 44-5 and held a 41-5 advantage in hits. They scored four or more runs in all but one inning in the game.
The Sixers were led by Braden Pearson, who had a monster day at the plate. Pearson went a combined 5-for-6 on the day with three triples, two doubles and five RBIs. Nolan Hortan went 4-for-5 on the day, including a perfect 4-for-4 in the second half of the double header.
“We took a lot of good at-bats and had a lot of guys that were not trying to do too much,” Lain said. “If we keep doing that, we can be tough offensively.”
Post 6 will be in action again next weekend with back-to-back doubleheaders. First, they will head to Gillette to take on the Roughriders on Saturday before returning home to face the Colorado Travelers.
Matt Atencio covers Laramie County prep sports for WyoSports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattAtencio5.