Jackson Hughes

Jackson Hughes (10) slides in safely under the catcher’s tag against Rock Springs in the 3 seed game on June 16.

Playing host to seven other teams from around the state, Nida Field showcased the Douglas B Tournament. The Cats B team finished the tournament with a 2-1-1 record in their four games.

With teams from Evanston to Laramie, the whole state was represented. Each team played three games between Friday and Saturday before seeding the Sunday games.

In the division with the Cats were the teams from Sturgis, South Dakota, Evanston and Laramie. In their first game of the tournament, the Cats squared off with Laramie.

In that game, the two teams tested the new rules for the tournament as opposed to a normal game. Because there were six games each day, there was a time limit of two hours in addition to the game stopping scoring rules.

The Cats finished up a 7-7 tie with Laramie. Their second game was directly after, this time against Sturgis. For the second game, it was Cameryn Spence on the mound.

Setting the tone right away, Spence struck out the side in the second inning while down 1-2. The Cats put up a pair of runs in the next inning before running away with the game, winning 5-2 in five innings.

As the host team, Douglas played in the final game of the night for both scheduled days. Capping off the June 15 slate of games, the Cats went head-to-head with Evanston.

Head coach Travis Mortimore went with left-hander Luis Lepe on the mound. With a verbally active Evanston team in the dugout Lepe maintained his focus on the task at hand, getting batters out.

“I just went up on the mound and threw strikes,” Lepe said.

The team scored runs by playing small ball. They advanced batters with walks, errors, stolen bases and base hits to inch across for every run. Everybody in the lineup did their best to contribute in whatever way was possible.

When that game went final, it was just a matter of checking the day’s scores to see when the team would play next. By finishing in third place in their division, the Cats were set up for a 10 a.m. game against Rock Springs.

First pitch did not arrive until 10:30 a.m., and the Cats wanted the win on their home diamond. Rock Springs’ best scoring chance to break the game open came in the second inning.

Bradyn Matthews was on the mound for Douglas and Rock Springs had the bases loaded with one out. Taking just a moment to collect himself and surveil the baserunners, Matthews struck out the next two batters and sent Rock Springs back to their dugout.

The Cats were able to score four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving themselves an 8-5 lead with only minutes left before the game would be called. In Rock Springs’ last batting opportunity, the team failed to score and Douglas picked up the fifth inning win.

It was the last home game for the Douglas B team until June 22 when they’ll take on Laramie in a doubleheader.

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