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July 21, 2008 2:54 pm

Ending on a strong note

Written by Tribune Staff

Pioneers claim game two of twinbill with Cubs
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Powell's Tyler Dahlgren makes a diving grab during game two of the Pioneers' doubleheader with the Cody Cubs last Thursday at Ed Lynn Field in Powell. Tribune photo by David Dickey
Simply put, the Powell Pioneers had their backs against the wall during game two of their doubleheader with the Cody Cubs.
Coach Jeff Young's team had already lost game one by a 10-7 score, and the second matchup looked as if it might produce the same result when Powell's 3-0 lead turned into a 6-3 deficit by the time the final out was recorded in the top of the fourth inning.
However, with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Powell's fortunes began to change when Pioneer Gianluca Giarrizzo reached first base via a walk and later scored on an RBI-double by Scotty Jameson. Grant Geiser followed with a triple and an RBI to cut Cody's lead to 6-5, and Brandon Sullivan tied the contest with a run-scoring single before the inning came to a close.
To the credit of the Cubs, the 6-6 tie didn't last long, thanks to Jake Howard's two-run double in the ensuing inning following a Pioneer error and a walk with two outs. Once again, though, Powell let its bats do its talking to the tune of a six-run fifth inning.
“Like we did in game one, we made some mistakes and got in our own way,” Coach Young said. “But we did a good job hitting the ball, and we were able to regain the lead. Once we got ahead in the bottom of the fifth, we took care of business and put the game away.”
Powell's turn at the plate in the fifth inning opened with a single by Tyler Dahlgren. Following an out by Trent Gillett, Auston Carter ripped a single of his own. Erik Brimhall followed with a fielder's choice that drove in a run, and Giarrizzo followed with a two-out, RBI-single that tied the game at 8-8.
Powell's clutch hitting continued when Jameson added a double and drove in another Pioneer run to put the home team ahead 9-8. Geiser added a double and RBI of his own, and later scored on a passed ball to push the lead to 11-8. Sullivan also added a single in the inning and scored on a run-scoring single by Schyler Borders, who was pinch hitting for Andrew Young.
Giarrizzo, who was pitching in relief of Sullivan, the starter, then sat down three straight Cubs in the top of the sixth. That set the stage for Powell's explosive finish in the 18-8 victory, which included six runs in the bottom of the sixth and forced the game to be called via the 10-run rule.
The bottom of the inning started with a walk by Gillett and a single by Carter. Gillett eventually scored on a throwing error during a double steal by the Pioneers, which was followed by Carter scoring on a wild pitch. Brimhall then reached first base after being hit by a pitch. Giarrizzo pushed Powell's lead to 15-8 with a run-scoring double, and Jameson added a single. Geiser drove in a run on a sacrifice, and Sullivan drove in Powell's 17th run with a single. Borders ended the game with a single and an RBI.
According to Coach Young, Powell's strong comeback effort almost was overshadowed by a situation on the field during the top of the third inning with Powell leading 2-0. The incident that sparked the on-field controversy was a play in which Dahlgren, Powell's third baseman, made a diving tag attempt on a Cody base runner, who was sliding into third base.
Cody's head coach, Bart Grenz, took exception with Dahlgren's effort, and words were exchanged between he and Dahlgren. Umpire Nevin Jacobs quickly intervened and got between Grenz and Dahlgren. The incident was then put to rest by Jacobs, who called both teams to the home plate area for a stern lecture. The veteran umpire, during his brief address, simply told the teams there was no room for that type of heated exchange. He also said if another incident of that nature occurred, the game would be called. Also helping to maintain control on the field was umpire Matt Elliott.
“To the umpires' credit, they got things under control before it got out of hand,” Coach Young said. “Once that issue was taken care of, both teams went out and played hard. Cody used it to their advantage and started scoring some runs, and our guys were able to get the lead back after falling behind. The players for both teams did some good things on the field, and it'll be a shame if that gets overlooked by people because of what happened during that incident.”
Young also credited Dahlgren for maintaining his composure in the heat of getting an earful from the Cubs' head coach and a number of Cody fans who were along the fence on the third base side.
“It was good that Tyler walked away,” Coach Young added. “He just smiled and laughed about it. As a coach, you shouldn't go after another team's player like that. If you have a problem with a player, you take it to the umpires. As for the fans, they should be there to support their team, not take personal shots at another team's players. When you have adult fans doing that, it sets a bad example. My players shouldn't have to deal with something like that, and I certainly wouldn't want our fans doing that either. There's just no place in Legion baseball for that.”
Prior to the incident at third base, Powell had built a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice and RBI by Sullivan and a double steal that allowed Jameson to score from third in the first inning. Powell pushed it's lead to 3-0 when Geiser scored from third base following a wild pitch during the bottom of the third and shortly after the incident between Grenz and Dahlgren.
Cody claimed its first lead of the game in the ensuing inning by scoring six runs.
Powell finished game two with 18 runs on 19 hits. Those leading the Pioneers' offensive attack were Jameson (four hits, two RBIs), Sullivan (four hits, three RBIs), Giarrizzo (three hits, two RBIs), Geiser (three hits, three RBIs), Carter (three hits), Borders (two hits, two RBIs), Dahlgren (one hit) and Brimhall (one RBI).
On the mound, Giarrizzo got the victory in relief of Sullivan. He entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the fourth.
“Brandon did a good job early, and he showed what he's capable of by shutting them down at times,” Coach Young said. “But he started having some trouble with the strike zone. Gianluca stepped into a tough situation, but he battled and did a good job for us.”
Cody 10, Powell 7
In game one, the Cubs built a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Cubs opened the scoring when an error allowed a pair of runs to score after Borders, the starter, hit Jacob Welch with a pitch and allowed a double by Caleb Rivera. A wild pitch led to Cody's third run in the inning.
In the top of the third, Cody increased its advantage to 4-0 when a runner scored as the Pioneers turned a double play to get the first two outs of the inning.
Powell closed the gap in the bottom of the third on a two-run double by Jameson after singles by Borders and Giarrizzo, and a run-scoring double by Geiser.
The Cubs picked up three runs in the fifth and pulled ahead 7-3. The first of those runs came when Daniel Sinner was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Connor Norton then followed with a two-run single.
Geiser picked up an RBI on a sacrifice in the fifth to trim Cody's lead to 7-4, but the Cubs answered with an RBI by Welch in the top of the sixth.
Giarrizzo's RBI-triple cut the deficit to three runs.
Three errors by the Pioneers in the seventh inning helped Cody extend its lead to 10-5 in the seventh.
The Pioneers' last-ditch effort in the bottom of the seventh included a two-run home run by Dahlgren with two outs and an ensuing single by Andrew Young. Cody then got the third out of the inning to seal the victory for starter Dan Brockus.
Borders was tagged with the loss after giving up seven hits. For Cody, eight of their 10 runs were scored by players who either walked, reached the base paths on a error or were hit by a pitch.
“We were our own worst enemy,” Coach Young said. “We outhit them, but we got in our own way.”
The hitting effort for Powell included 11 hits. Those providing Powell's offense were Giarrizzo (three hits, one RBI), Jameson (two hits, two RBIs), Geiser (one hit, two RBIs), Dahlgren (one hit, two RBIs), Brimhall (one hit), Sullivan (one hit), Andrew Young (one hit) and Borders (one hit).
Over the weekend, the Pioneers went 3-1 during stops in Gillette and Spearfish, S.D. In Gillette, Powell defeated the Billings Regulators 11-6 and topped Gillette 4-2. On Sunday, the Pioneers split a twinbill with Spearfish. During game one, Spearfish came away with a 9-8 victory in eight innings. In game two, Powell claimed an 8-2 decision en route to its 30th victory of the season. The Pioneers, who have won at least 30 games in each of Coach Young's four seasons at the helm, currently hold a 30-16 mark.
As for upcoming action, the Pioneers have one doubleheader on tap this week. That twinbill is slated for Thursday at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., and the opponent will be Green River.