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July 25, 2013 7:45 am

Powell Pioneers seeking top seed at state tourney

Written by Dante Geoffrey

The Powell Pioneers begin a best-of-three series against the Douglas Cats today (Thursday) in Douglas.

While the rest of the teams at the district tournament will be fighting for a chance to advance to state, Powell and Douglas will be jockeying for position. The series winner will take the North’s No. 1 seed heading into the state tournament in Gillette next week.

The Pioneers defeated the Cats 10-1 in their only meeting June 21.  

The Pioneers (25-21) are bringing a hot streak into Douglas. Powell has won five of the last six and seems to have its offense peaking as the stakes are rising.

Frankie Vogt leads the team with a .544 average and 1.530 OPS. He is 12-for-19 over the past six games and leads the team with nine home runs on the season.

Cory Heny has been on fire as well, going 14-for-23 during Powell’s late-season 5-1 run. He has also stolen seven bases over that stretch, and leads the team with 33 steals.

Close behind Heny is Brendon Phister, who has stolen 29 bags. Phister’s .372 average is third on the team behind Vogt and Heny, and like the two team leaders he is hitting an elevated .412 over the past six games.

The team’s hottest batter might be its eldest. Gage Henderson, 19, is 11-for-21 with four doubles since the team’s loss to Cody July 16. Henderson is batting .342 for the year, is second on the team in doubles (14) and second in RBI with 37.

Head coach Jason Borders said he hasn’t determined what his rotation will be yet. Heny and Hayden Cragoe can be expected to start but Vogt may be used as a long reliever rather than a starter.

Today’s (Thursday’s) game and Friday’s game begin at 5 p.m. Saturday’s potential series-clincher is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Single game tickets are $5, all-day passes are $10, tournament passes are $20 and family tournament passes are $40.

Daily game updates will be posted at www.facebook.com/powelltribune.

The game will be broadcast live on KPOW, 1260 AM. The game can be streamed live at www.network1sports.com/station/kpow.

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