Powell (10-12, 2-0 Northwest) didn’t have to exhaust either of its top two pitchers, Cory Heny and Ty Whiteman, who will be fully rested to start Wednesday’s conference doubleheader against Cody.
Whiteman threw 22 pitches in one and one-third innings Friday morning and Heny never took the mound.
A shorthanded Pioneers squad dropped Sunday morning’s game against the Billings Halos, 12-1. Powell had only nine players suit up as others missed due to vacation, basketball camp and religious reasons.
Grady Sanders, Blaze Flores and Brendon Phister each threw for the Pioneers in the 11-run loss. Full stats for Sunday’s game were not immediately available.
Powell manager Jason Borders said Sanders was hit on the knee with a line drive while pitching. His status for Wednesday was uncertain as of press time Monday.
“It was loud,” Borders said of the shot that struck Sanders. “Right on the bone on the outside of the knee.”
The Pioneers won Saturday night’s contest in five-innings against the Casper Drillers.
Up 11-3, Powell scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the 10-after-five rule and end the game.
Powell scored 13 runs on eight hits and seven walks.
“Kind of hard to hit when they’re walking you,” Borders said. “We did a good job with our approaches at the plate for the most part.”
Powell scored three runs in the second inning, six in the third, two in the fourth and two in the fifth. The team got eight hits and committed just one error in the game.
The Pioneers went through their entire lineup in a six-run third inning. Sanders was the first to get on base with a one-out walk and was also the last to reach when he was hit by a pitch six runs later.
Teagan Cordes hit a two-run single and Heny smacked a bases-clearing triple to drive in three more as the Pioneers blew the game open.
Jared Wantulok doubled, both Matt Brown and Hayden Cragoe drew walks and Phister was hit by a pitch as nine batters reached base in the inning.
Heny went 2-for-3 (two triples) with four RBIs and a walk in the win.
Wantulok, Brown and Phister each scored three runs and Brown, Cordes and Dillon Nix each had two RBIs.
Brown pitched all five innings for the Pioneers and allowed just one earned run (three total) on four hits and six strikeouts.
Saturday’s win helped erase the memories from a 10-1 loss at the hands of Miles City Friday evening.
Powell had only four hits despite striking just twice.
“We were hitting stuff in the gaps but they just weren’t falling,” Borders said. “I told the boys afterwards, ‘You can hit the ball hard but it can find somebody,’ and that’s what it was doing in that game.”
The Outlaws’ bats found the open spaces Powell’s couldn’t.
Bryce Wright allowed all of Miles City’s 10 runs and 12 hits in his four innings of work. Miles City did its damage with five-run innings in the third and fourth.
Brown pitched a perfect final three innings with one strikeout.
Powell scored its lone run in the third inning. With Heny on second, Cragoe hit a single to the outfield that drove in the speedy center fielder and cut the Outlaws’ lead to 5-1.
Cragoe was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base.
Heny was 1-for-2 with two walks and Sanders was 1-for-3.
Powell won its Friday-morning opener against Lovell 7-3.
The Pioneers were in firm control of the game but Lovell gave Powell a scare in the top of the sixth, when the Mustangs scored three runs to make the score 4-3.
The Pioneers found three insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. Phister led off with a ground-ball single, stole second and then tagged to move to third on a fly ball to center. Nix brought Phister home on a bunt single that also moved Whiteman (who had reached on an error) to second base.
After Heny reached first on a fielder’s choice that put out Nix at second, he stole second to put him and Whiteman in scoring position. Andreasen singled to center and drove in both runners to cap off the game’s scoring.
Flores allowed three runs, though none of them were earned, in five and two-thirds innings. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out five.
“I just wanted him to eat up innings,” Borders said. “I knew we could score on them. I knew we could steal bases and get into scoring position.”
Zander Andreasen was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored against Lovell.
Sanders’ one hit came in the form of a solo home run in the third inning.
Powell stole 11 bases in its first three games of the tournament, a trend Borders said could continue.
“If we’re in the right situation we’ll play some small ball,” Borders said. “We’re kind of just playing for one run, two runs an inning.”
Powell’s home doubleheader with Cody (16-9, 2-0) will go a long way to determining the Northwest Division champion.
Cody, like Powell, swept Lovell in the first conference doubleheader June 17.
Borders said he plans to start Heny (1.73 ERA) in game 1 and Whiteman (2.20 ERA) in game 2.
First-team All-State selection John Beaudrie will likely start one of the games for the Cubs. Beaudrie was 2-1 in three starts versus the Pioneers last season.
Cody’s ace held Powell to one unearned run on four hits in a complete game 8-1 win at the state tournament in Gillette Aug. 1.
Beaudrie boasted a 2.16 ERA, allowed 16 hits, struck out 22 and walked 11 in 25 innings against the Pioneers.
Game 1 starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday with game 2 to follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.
Powell plays Lovell in Cowley for a conference doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday.