By Ray K. Erku
CHEYENNE – Cheyenne Post 6 Prep is a beatable team.
On June 12, in fact, Rawlins Colonels was literally two runs away from besting Cheyenne in a dramatic bottom fifth showdown at home, which led to a too-close-for-comfort 7-6 loss.
Monday’s doubleheader against their cross-conference foes in Cheyenne proved far from replicating that game, however, as Rawlins was swept by Post 6, 13-0 and 17-0.
Despite this unfavorable outcome, the Colonels were still hot this past weekend, as they pulled out their brooms and swept Hayden, Colo., 10-7 and 11-7, on Saturday.
But the two consecutive wins weren’t walks in the park.
Following a 2-2 first inning in game one, Hayden tallied four runs at the bottom of the third inning to go up 6-2.
The fourth, fifth and sixth innings for Rawlins, however, turned into a slugfest. And it all started with a Hayden mishap.
With two outs at top four, Hayden committed an error at first base off a grounder spanked by Rawlins slugger Jake McCoulloch, which scored teammates Zach Waring and Tommy Chizek.
Following an unanswered bottom, Rawlins notched another four runs.
The inning first popped off with an RBI-double hit by Blane Mathill. Moments later turned into what perhaps was the most notable play of the game.
Robert Flores, Rawlins’ go-to guy at the dish, recorded an inside the park homerun on a pop fly to center field, giving the Colonels a 7-6 lead. Waring would later score on another Hayden error.
But after Rawlins added another two insurance runs at the top of the sixth, they weren’t in the clear yet.
Up 10-6, it would Brian Paulsen who helped the Colonels take the game in relief. Although Rawlins’ defense gave up one run via error, Paulsen recorded two critical strikeouts in dramatic fashion. He would end the game with six strikeouts, while giving up two hits and one run in 3.2 innings.
For Rawlins, Flores ended with 4 RBI on two hits and three at bats. Mathill and teammate Canyon Greene paired up for two RBI.
Meanwhile, as a team, the Colonels six RBI on 12 hits and 26 at bats.
Starting on the hill for Rawlins, McCoulloch recorded the win with five strikeouts, while giving up six runs and seven hits in 2.1 innings.
This time it was Hayden pressing to make a comeback… not before Rawlins made an early-game dent, however.
At the top of the first inning, the Colonels tallied five runs. And thanks to Mathill, who ended the game with 3 RBI and four hits, Rawlins shot off to a great start.
Mathill would kick things off with an RBI single. Flores would then follow suit with another RBI single.
Waring would later record an RBI-double. He’d end the game with three RBI.
But Hayden would come back, scoring seven runs between the second and sixth innings. Rawlins, however, added three insurance runs in the last inning to close out the game.
Pitcher PJ Serna, with five strikeouts, recorded the win for Rawlins. Chance Archuleta recorded three outs in the last inning to record the save. Flores also recorded two strikeouts in two innings pitched.
Along with Waring, Flores chipped in with two RBI.
Up next, Rawlins takes on Laramie B today in Laramie.