Cheyenne is moving on to the championship game after they beat Gillette, 7-6, in nine innings Friday night at the ‘AA’ State Tournament in Rock Springs.

The game featured four home runs, including a grand slam. There were eight total errors committed by both teams. The two pitching staffs combined for 23 strikeouts and only seven walks.

The Sixers ninth started with a walk to Nico Vite. He advanced to third on a pick-off throwing error. Another walk was issued to Julian Romero. With runners at the corners, Colter McAnelly, who was the winning pitcher, hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Vite for the game-winning run.

Gillette’s Kaden Race reached on an error to start the Roughriders ninth inning. After a pop-out and a strikeout, Mason Powell singled to left field, and Race went to third base. A ground out to second ended the game.

WyoPreps had a chance to visit with McAnelly and Cheyenne manager Ty Lain after the thrilling win in the video above.

McAnelly relieved starter Travis Onisto and went four innings for the victory. He allowed one run on three hits. McAnelly and Andrew Johnson led the Sixers offense with two hits apiece.

Hayden Sylte took the loss for Gillette. The Riders were held to six hits and Powell had two of them.

Gillette (51-14) scored three times in the second thanks to an error and two sacrifice bunts by Logan Davis and Zach Brown. Then, Powell and Brody Richardson hit back-to-back solo home runs in the third for a 5-0 lead and all the momentum.

Cheyenne (49-20) looked dead but found life in the fourth inning. Four singles with a ground out in the middle led to the first run. Keldon Hastings had the first RBI-hit. That cut it to 5-1, Gillette. An error led to the second run before Zach Costopolous was hit by a ground ball for the second out. Then, the Sixers got the huge spark they needed. On a 2-0 pitch, Vite hit an opposite-field grand slam over the fence in right and all of the sudden, Cheyenne led 6-5.

It stayed that way until the sixth when Tanner Richards homered on a 2-1 pitch to right field.

There was one baserunner, on a dropped third strike, in the seventh. Then, it was free baseball. Both teams went in order in the eighth, which created the drama in the ninth.

With the win, the Sixers clinch a spot in the state championship game on Sunday, regardless of what happens in their next game on Saturday versus Sheridan at 7 p.m.

Gillette has to play Casper in a loser-out game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

If Cheyenne wins on Saturday over the Troopers, then the title game is at noon on Sunday. If Sheridan beats the Sixers, then they will play the winner of the Riders-Oilers game in a loser-out contest at noon on Sunday. The winner of that game will play Cheyenne at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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