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Pioneers drop two in Miles City

Offense vanishes against Outlaws

The Miles City Outlaws didn’t have to resort to an illegal activity. The Powell Pioneers’ offense did them a favor by showing up dead on arrival.

Powell mustered only four runs and one extra-base hit in two blowout losses against the Outlaws Sunday afternoon.

The Pioneers lost 9-3 and 9-1, but the biggest losses came before the team took the field. Shortstop Hayden Cragoe was out of town and Brendon Phister and Zander Andreasen did not play due to religious reasons.

“We didn’t have our whole team,” said head coach Jason Borders. “We played a lot of kids out of position.”

Frankie Vogt informed Borders he will be out of town Monday through Thursday, which made him unable to pitch in Monday night’s league game against the Lovell Mustangs (story online at

Vogt pitched three-and-two-thirds innings of relief in Powell’s 9-1 loss in the second game.

Vogt was able to stop the bleeding, but the damage had been done. Starter Bryce Wright gave up eight runs (seven earned) in two-and-a-third innings and Powell’s bats never got going.

Catcher Jared Wantulok had a pair of singles for Powell’s only hits of the game.

Miles City’s pitching tandem of Logan West and Stephen Burek didn’t overpower the Powell lineup, which struck out only five times.

“They threw pretty good pitches at us,” Borders said. “We really should have done more damage if we could have been more selective.”

Powell’s lone run came in the fifth inning when a bases-loaded walk scored Grady Sanders.

The Outlaws scored two runs in the first, two in the second and five in the third before taking the second half of the game off.

“They’re a good-hitting baseball team,” Borders said of the Outlaws, who played in the championship game of the Williston, N.D. tournament June 16.

Borders said he was frustrated by the lack of patience shown by the Pioneers at the plate.

“I got on them pretty hard between games (Sunday) for the first time all year,” he said. “(I told them) ‘As much as you may hate it, sometimes you need to take a walk.’”

If the lopsided score of the day’s final game was understandable, the 9-3 score of the first game was a bit perplexing.

Powell outhit the Outlaws 9-7 and committed just two errors to Miles City’s three.

“They got away with (errors) and we didn’t,” Borders said. “Our errors were bases loaded and the ball goes off somebody’s glove and they score two runs. It was just one of those games.”

Sanders pitched five and one-third innings. He allowed nine runs (six earned) on seven hits and eight walks.

“Grady threw his (butt) off,” Borders said. “Probably one of the best games he’s thrown all year.”

Sanders swung Powell’s best bat, going 2-for-4 with a RBI and run scored.

Ben Wetzel went 2-for-3 with a RBI single in the second that briefly tied the game at two.

Wright went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.

All but two Pioneers had at least one hit and all but one reached base.

Miles City starter Jeff VanCleave pitched a complete game and drove in enough runs himself to give the Outlaws the win. VanCleave went 2-for-3, including a three-run home run off Sanders in the sixth, to drive in four runs and score twice.

Matt Sweet pitched the final two-thirds inning, striking out one.

The Pioneers’ forgettable Sunday came four days after they swept the Glendive, Mont., Blue Devils in a home doubleheader.

Powell’s offense fired on all cylinders the same day Vogt struck out nine in a 19-2 mercy-shortened victory over Glendive in game one.

Vogt allowed two hits, two runs and struck out nine in only four innings of work.

At the plate, Vogt drove in three off two hits. He also walked once and scored three times.

Phister went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored.

Gage Henderson went 2-for-2 with two RBI, two runs and a walk.

“We were patient at the plate,” Borders said. “When we do that we score runs. It’s simple.”

Powell won 5-4 in the afternoon’s second game.

Henderson’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning scored the winning run a half-inning after the Blue Devils scored four to tie it.

Sanders allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in seven innings. He struck out five.

Cory Heny went 2-for-3 with a RBI and run scored. Sweet went 3-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored.

The Pioneers will travel to Casper Thursday to compete in the Mike Devereaux Tournament in Casper.

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