CHEYENNE — Mark Robert bolted from the dugout and gave the home plate umpire an earful during Cheyenne American Legion Post 6′s game with the Rocky Mountain Lobos.
The Post 6 assistant coach had already been ejected but Robert wasn’t going to leave the field without letting everyone know what was on his mind. The speech was loud enough so that just about everyone at Powers Field could hear it. Including the Cheyenne players.
Robert’s ejection was the turning point during Monday’s 9 a.m. game in the Bob Nab Memorial tournament as Post 6 rallied back from a nine run deficit to with 14-13 and advance to the championship game.
“He said some things that a lot of guys wanted to say, at least made the guys feel like he had their back,” Post 6 manager Tagg Lain said. “And our guys wanted to make sure they came out and played with a fire that he showed down 9-0. I was really happy with our guys to come back.”
Cheyenne gave up seven runs in the first inning and two more in the second to trail the Lobos 9-0 early. In the bottom of the second, Robert was sitting the dugout asking catcher Logan Followell where a pitching that was called a ball was when the home plate umpire told him not to ask. After a little jawing from both sides, Robert was ejected from the game and bolted from the dugout to state his case.
Robert’s rant could be heard throughout the park as he told the umpire to focus on the game. After he’d said his peace, Robert left the park and the game resumed. But the game wasn’t the same as the one before the rant.
Post 6 got out of the inning with only two runs given up. And then their offense responded. The bats came to life for five runs early and tied the game when Zach Lain hit a grand slam later in the inning to tie the game at 9-9. Cheyenne took the lead for good on an RBI single by Rafer Cooley in the fourth.
“I think it kind of put a fire to everybody. It got us going, got a turning point right there. (it showed) he has our back, we have his, we need to pick ourselves up and we need start going,” Landon Lybeck said. “We started getting hits together collectively, started getting runs and it was good game.”
Cheyenne tacked on four crucial runs later because Rocky Mountain got within one run at 14-13 in the sixth inning.
While the team won the opening game of bracket play, Post 6 did fall to Creighton Prep 21-4 in five innings in the championship game. Those involved in the game admitted the huge rally was a big emotionally draining event but it was proof that the team can overcome any deficit.
Next time, it won’t take an ejection to get the rally going.
“There’s always those thoughts but as the team that we are, Post 6, it’s just our way to never give up and never put our backs down,” Lybeck said. “We just have that scrapper mentality. We weren’t going to give up.”