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May 16, 2013 8:16 am

Pioneers swept by Halos

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The Powell Pioneers opened the American Legion baseball season with a pair of losses. The team has more than a week to prepare for its next games, doubleheaders against the Billings Angels on May 25 and 26.  The Powell Pioneers opened the American Legion baseball season with a pair of losses. The team has more than a week to prepare for its next games, doubleheaders against the Billings Angels on May 25 and 26. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Youth shows in season opener

The Powell Pioneers dropped a doubleheader to open American Legion baseball season last Saturday. The team fell 7-5 and 12-7 to the Billings Halos in what head coach Jason Borders described as a learning experience.

 

 

“We were limited in our lineup with some kids at track regionals,” said Borders. “We had some 15 and 16-year-olds who are still getting used to what it takes to compete at this level. These were the first games of the year for us while the Halos had played 12 already so we were just at different points of the season right now.”

Borders stressed he’s not panicked by the early losses.

“We’ll be a good team, it’s just going to take a little bit of time,” said Borders.

Frankie Vogt and Jared Wantulok each finished with two hits in the game. Wantulok added two RBIs. Cory Heny and Matt Sweet also reached base safely with singles.

Ty Whiteman threw the first four innings. Bryce Wright came in and threw the final three. The pair combined for seven walks and six strikeouts.

“We just haven’t had the mound time yet to strengthen kids’ arms,” said Borders. “We didn’t help Ty with a couple innings behind him. Bryce came in and threw well. He might not have given up a run.”

In the nightcap contest, Heny and Vogt each finished with two hits. Vogt also drove home a pair of runs while Heny was responsible for scoring three times.

Matt Brown earned the start for the Pioneers, but was hurt by a three-error inning that led to some big runs by the Halos. Gage Henderson came aboard in relief and threw the final four innings. The pair combined to whiff nine batters.

“The second game, they threw a kid at us who had a pretty good curve ball and we looked like we’d never seen one in our lives,” said Borders. “We struck out 12 times. We just didn’t handle it good. Our approach in the box wasn’t what we want it to be, but we’ll learn from it. We just didn’t look real sharp in that game.”

The Pioneers have two weeks to prepare for their next games. The team travels to play the Billings Angels on Saturday, May 25. The following day, the same two teams will meet in Powell for a pair of games.

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