The American Legion Evanston Outlaws ended their season with a 13-14 loss to the Sheridan Troopers at the state championships held in Casper last Thursday.
Despite the loss, the Outlaws, who looked at one point to be out of the game, fought back with a vengeance and came close to moving on but couldn’t quite overcome a seven point deficit.
Sheridan took an early lead when Nolan McCafferty doubled on a fly ball to center field that allowed Connor Jorgenson to score and then Quinton Brooks singled on a ground ball to the shortstop and McCafferty scored, giving Sheridan a 2-0 lead.
Sheridan extended their lead in the second inning when Coy Steel singled on a fly ball to center field and then he was able to take third base after Kade Eisele hit a ground ball and reached base due to an error by shortstop Brendan MacDonald. Steel scored on an error by third baseman Beau Lloyd and Sheridan was on their way with a 3-0 lead over the Outlaws.
The Outlaws defense didn’t allow Sheridan another score and in the bottom of the fourth inning Evanston was able to close the gap slightly. Seth Lloyd singled on a ground ball and then MacDonald walked. Lloyd advanced to third base on a passed ball. Beau Lloyd hit a fly ball to left field and Seth Lloyd was able to score. The inning ended with Sheridan leading 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Outlaws’ Kimball Madsen singled on a fly ball to center field and then Reid Gross hit a sacrifice to the pitcher, allowing Madsen to advance to second base. Hunter Hicks doubled on a fly ball to right field allowing Madsen to score.
The Outlaws weren’t finished. Brandon Wick singled on a ground ball to the shortstop and Hicks advanced to third base. Then Seth Lloyd singled on a fly ball to left field bringing Hicks across home plate.
The Outlaws gained the lead when MacDonald doubled on a fly ball to left field and Wicks scored. Griffen Mitchell walked, loading the bases.
Beau Lloyd grounded to the shortstop and Seth Lloyd scored the Outlaws’ fifth run. Mitchell was out while advancing to second base.
The bottom of the fifth inning ended with the Outlaws leading 5-3 but it wouldn’t last long.
In the top of the sixth inning, Sheridan came out swinging. McCafferty singled on a ground ball to center field and then Quinton Brooks singled on a fly ball to right field. McCafferty advanced to third base. When Jeff Shanor stepped up to the late, McCafferty stole second base and Shanor ground out to the shortstop but McCafferty was able to score. Then Coy Steel doubled on a fly ball to right field and Brooks tied the score at five.
Seth Lloyd walked Noah Gustafson and Steel remained at second base. The Outlaws changed pitchers, putting MacDonald in for Seth Lloyd. Kade Eisele was out after a fly ball to second base but Steel was able to make it to home plate and Gustafson advanced to third base. Blake King singled on a fly ball to right field and Gustafson covered the distance to score Sheridan’s seventh run of the game, giving Sheridan a 7-5 lead over the Outlaws.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Madsen gounded out to the shortstop and then Reid Gross singled on a fly ball to center field. Hunter Hicks was out after he popped one up in foul territory that the catcher easily handled. With two out and Reid Gross on first base, Brandon Wicks singled on a fly ball to center field and the Seth Lloyd walked. MacDonald stepped up to the plate and singled on a ground ball to left field but, thanks to fast action, both Gross and Wicks scored and tied the game at seven.
In the top of the seventh inning, Sheridan put on a show. The inning started with MacDonald walking Connor Jorgenson and then McCafferty singled on a ground ball to left field. After taking Quinton Brooks out on a pop out to the pitcher, Jorgenson advanced to third base on a passed ball and McCafferty advanced to second base. Shanor grounded out but Jorgenson was able to score and McCafferty advanced to third base. Coy Steel then doubled on a fly ball to right field and McCafferty scored, giving Sheridan a 9-7 lead.
MacDoanld walked Gustafson with Steel remaing at third base. Eisele singled on a ground ball to the shortstop Seth Lloyd and Steel increased Sheridan’s lead. Blake King then singled on a ground ball to center field and Gustafson scored, ending the top of the seventh with Sheridan leading the Outlaws 11-7.
The Evanston Outlaws were not able to close the gap in the bottom of the seventh and Sheridan continued to dominate in the top of the eighth inning.
The Outlaws changed pitchers, bringing in Hunter Hicks.
Connor Jorgenson immediately doubled on a fly ball to right field. After McCafferty was out on a fly ball to left field Jorgenson advanced to third base and then Brooks grounded out to second base but Jorgenson scored. Hicks walked Shanor and then Shanor stole second base. Coy Steel was able to single on a fly ball to center field and Shanor crossed home plate.
Gustafson singled on a ground ball to center field, Brandon Wicks threw the ball to Hunter Hicks who was able catch Gustafson running to get the Outlaws’ third out of the inning but Steel was able to cross home plate, giving Sheridan a 14-7 lead.
Attempting to surpass a seven-point deficit can be a daunting task but the Outlaws accepted the challenge.
Hunter Hicks was first to step up to the plate and Sheridan pitcher Jeff Shanor walked him. Then Brandon Wicks doubled on a fly ball to left field and Hicks was able to advance to third base. Seth Lloyd singled on a ground ball to second base and Hicks scored
Seth Lloyd stole second base and MacDonald walked.
Sheridan changed pitchers, bringing in Coy Steel for Shanor.
Wicks scored on a passed ball and Seth Lloyd advanced to third base on the same pitch. Griffen Mitchell was walked and the bases were loaded.
Seth Lloyd scored on a balk or illegal motion by a pitcher, and MacDonald advanced to third base. Cris Periman was walked and the Outlaws had closed the gap with the score standing at 14-10 in favor of Sheridan.
Sheridan got its second out by striking out Madsen, then Reid Gross singled on a ground ball to the shortstop and MacDonald scored. Mitchell advanced to third base with Periman at second.
Hunter Hicks singled on a ground ball to right field and both Mitchell and Periman crossed home plate and the Outlaws had fought back from a seven point deficit to being just one point behind Sheridan, 14-13, but that was the end of the scoring. Neither Evanston nor Sheridan could put together another run and the game ended.
The Outlaws’ season ended but they fought hard all season and even facing a huge deficit, they never stopped trying.