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Rangers defeat Bulldawgs in 18-17 slugfest

The Rangers held off a fifth-inning rally by the Bulldawgs to grab an 18-17 win July 27 in a losers’ bracket game during the Postseason Commander’s Cup Softball Tournament playoffs at Gowdy Field.

The Rangers of 75th Ranger Regiment got off to a quick start with a 4-1 lead after one inning.In the bottom of the second, the Bulldawgs took control of the game, scoring on RBIs from Josh Cobbs and Bryan Jenkins, to lead 7-5.

In their biggest scoring inning, eight of 11 batters scored, giving the Rangers a 13-8 lead in the top of the third. The Rangers kept the pressure on, and by the end of the fourth, led 16-11. They added two runs in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 18-11.

Time expired in the bottom of the fifth, but the teams would finish the inning. That’s when the Bulldawgs made an 11th-hour attempt at a comeback. Trailing 18-11, Shaun Beaty, Matthew Smith and Hobbs contributed RBI hits as the club scored six times, but the rally was short-lived, as Rangers first baseman Andrew Griffin caught the final out to seal the win.

“I’m glad to be done with the game and glad we won,” Griffin said. “ We had cohesiveness and we were able to work as a team. There were a couple innings where they scored pretty big on us, but we were able to keep our heads in the game and turn it around.”

Rangers assistant coach Tommy Williams said the game got a little too close toward the end.

“They were getting good hits and we just had to hit with them. We did our job tonight,” he said. “Our bats were working and we had good chemistry. Everyone was hitting. I don’t think there was anybody that batted that didn’t get a hit tonight.”

Williams said the Rangers had a good chance at going to the championship as long as they had enough players and kept working hard.

“We just have to keep battling. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s not anything we aren’t used to,” Williams said.The Rangers defeated 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, July 28 to advance to the losers’ bracket finals. At press time, the Rangers are competing against 11th Engineer Battalion Team Two in the losers’ bracket finals. The championship was on Thursday.

To see coverage of the championship, check out the Aug. 6 edition of The Bayonet.