After kicking off its season with an impressive 4-1 record, the Douglas Cats have began to struggle a bit winning just three of its eight games since its double header with the Laramie Rangers on June 5.
It began with the team splitting a double header with the rival Wheatland Lobos, losing the first game 8-6 then bouncing back with a dominant 18-3 victory.
The Cats were three outs away from sweeping the Lobos. Douglas held a 6-5 lead going into the final inning of the first game but allowed the Lobos to plate three runs in their final at-bats to secure the victory.
Michael Bobrowski had three hits in eight at-bats over the course of the two games and drove in five runs. Ransom Ollie went four for six at the plate and drove in another four runs for the Cats.
Douglas traveled to the Dean Bullock Memorial Tournament in Torrington for a slate of games on Thursday and Friday. The tournament was special for Cats’ head coach Zack Andrews as he was able to witness the field named after Bullock.
“It was really cool seeing them name the field after my uncle,” Andrews said. “My other uncle and I were able to help pull out the banners and honor him; he was such a big part of baseball in Torrington. He was in a wheelchair since he was 14, but he coached Little League and Babe Ruth and was their radio announcer for a time. He’s just really respected there.
“It was awesome to see. I was crying. It was really cool having my team standing there supporting it and everything. It was pretty special.”
The Cats went 2-2 in their four tournament games, with late-game struggles once again accounting for their losses. Those came at the hands of the Torrington Tigers and the Rocky Mountain Lobos. Both games were tied at the mid-way points before their opponents pulled away.
“It’s just a play here and a play there that cost us those games,” Andrews said. “We committed some errors in all four games, but were able to have enough firepower to make up for it in the games we won.
“We had decent pitching, but we just missed on a few plays. We let in two five-run innings,; you take those away and their different games all around.
“It’s something that once we get to play a little more and settle in, we should see less of those lulls mid-game. We get a couple days of practice this week to work on fundamentals, so that should be nice.”
Douglas was able to split its tie-breaker with Wheatland during the tournament, securing an 11-7 victory Friday morning.
“I would like to beat them three out of three times,” Andrews offered. “I think we were right there where we should have, we just didn’t close it down. We had a couple things happen in that first game that if we clean up we could easily (have been) 3-0 against them.
“They’re a rival though and have some good pitchers they throw out against us. We battled and took the lead but just couldn’t hold it.”
Monday night saw the Cats on the losing end of two straight in an on-the-road double-header against the Cody Cubs. Douglas struggled to put runs on the board for the first time this season, getting shut out in the first game and scoring just four in the second.
The Cats averaged 10 runs per game in their first 11 games of the season, so the low run total in Cody was uncharacteristic.
Douglas will try to get back on track as the week goes on, as the team travels to Powell for games against the Pioneers and the Lovell Mustangs, then hosts the Cody Cubs at Nida Field 3 p.m. on Saturday for a chance at revenge.