Knights push through tough tourney

Harrison Epstein photo
Bryston Jennings dives back to first base and avoids the tag on a pickoff attempt from Gillette.

Harrison Epstein

Glenrock head coach Allen Jennings wanted his team on the bus at 6:30 a.m.
Playing the first game of the day, every day, Jennings wanted his team to be warmed up and ready for the 8:30 a.m. first pitch at the Douglas B Tournament.
Over the four game tournament, the Knights lost three games and recorded their first tie of the season. They were the first game of the tournament, taking on Gillette on Friday morning. It was another game where the Knights struggled early, falling behind 9-1 after the first inning.
With Jake Redman on the mound, Gillette was able to capitalize on walked batters to take the lead. Neither team gave in though, with the game ending after four innings 17-7 in favor of Gillette.
“We went into the third inning and we came up on fire. We pulled within four and at that point we really had some good momentum going,” Jennings said.
“Unfortunately, first inning pitching, giving up that many runs—and our pitcher did a great job—he put the ball where it needed to be, we ran out of pitchers and had to come in with a pitcher who wasn’t warmed up.”
The team then bussed back to Glenrock before showing up at 7 a.m. on Saturday for the next pair against Riverton and Rock Springs. In their last meeting, Riverton and Glenrock split their doubleheader, giving the Knights their first win of the season.
In Douglas, the two played a purely even game, tying each other at the end of five innings 7-7. On the mound in the game against Riverton was Alex St. Gelais. Offering stability on the mound, St. Gelais threw a five inning complete game while striking out four batters.
Aidan Orozco spent the game with the Riverton Raiders at shortstop driving in a pair of runs. For the day’s second game, scoring was bountiful. Despite picking up one of their highest scoring totals of the year, the Knights lost 13-11 after only three innings.
Adam Bearfield took the mound for the Knights and threw another complete game for the team. After the first inning, Rock Springs led 7-4 by jumping on pitches late in the count from Bearfield and piling on.
The offensive leaders for the game were the same as Orozco collected a pair of hits and St. Gelais not only drove in two runs, but hit the first home run of the tournament.
His home run punctuated the scoring of the third inning, where the Knights picked up seven runs of their own. While St. Gelais’ home run was the high point of the inning, everybody in the lineup got in on the action.
Several players, including Bryston Jennings who spent most of the tournament behind the plate, hit balls on the screws to the left field wall. While rounding the bases, St. Gelais tipped his cap to the crowd and was mobbed at home plate by his teammates.
Glenrock was able to break open the game after a significant mental mistake from the Rock Springs pitcher. With a 7-7 score, the Rock Springs pitcher walked home the leading runner.
Unfortunately for Glenrock, timely hitting from their opponents led to them taking the lead. And with the time limits in place, the umpires called the game off with two outs left in the inning and a two-run lead for Rock Springs.
One regular issue for the team that reared it’s head once again, especially with the games played in short succession, was the lack of bench depth on the team. Hunter Blaylock, who played second base primarily in the tournament, believes it came into play even more with the sizes of their weekend opponents.
“All the teams here have twice as many kids as we do. It sucks only having so many kids but we’ve bonded together and we’re and pushing through it,” Blaylock said.
Failing to pick up a win between Friday and Saturday, the Knights ended up in the 4 seed game against Laramie. Taking just three innings, and being finished off with the score limit, Glenrock finished the early morning game with a 15-0 loss.
Orozco gave up 11 runs in the first inning before Bryston Jennings finished off the game. Offensively, the Knights got nothing. They did not get a single base runner in the game.
Despite coming up short in each game over the weekend, Allen Jennings wanted to leave his players with a message they can build off of.
“Control what you can control. We can’t control the clock or the scorekeeper. What we can learn from that is we’re going to have to cut down on mental mistakes and make sure we’re in a good position early on,” Jennings said.
The Knights are still searching for their second win of the season after dropping both games in their June 18 doubleheader against Douglas.


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