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July 14, 2008 2:07 pm

Wild week in Billings

Written by Tribune Staff

Lobos extend Pioneers gesture of good faith following tournament
On the field, the Powell Pioneers finished third during last week's National Baseball Congress State Invitational, an event hosted by the Billings Lobos. However, during a phone call from Billings Lobos head coach Hal Anderson following the wood bat tournament, Pioneer head coach learned his team fared much better.
“Hal called me after the tournament and told me his team had decided to share the title with us,” Coach Young said. “They beat us in the semifinals Saturday and went on to win the tournament by beating the Billings All-Stars, a team we had already beaten. During our game with the Lobos in semifinals, the umpires made three calls, and each one of those cost us runs. It was a great game, and it was sad to see the outcome determined by umpires who made calls that cost us the game.
“Hal, his assistants and the Lobos players, as a group, decided to share the trophy with us. It was classy act, and it's something I hope our team would do if we were ever found ourselves in that position. That's a credit to the Lobos and the type of program they have. Through no fault of their own, they felt they hadn't won it the right way, so they decided that was a good way to make it right. They said they wanted to call their semifinal game with us a 3-3 tie. I can't tell you how classy it was for them to do that.”
During the semifinal game between the Lobos and Pioneers, Billings emerged with a 4-3 decision with the help of what most in attendance labeled as incorrect calls by the umpires. The outcome overshadowed what had been a well played game by both squads, Coach Young said. Those calls led to one Pioneer assistant coach being ejected along with a number of fans being asked to leave the facility.
“After the game, I told the players to go ahead and get to the bus,” Coach Young said. “As I tried to make my way to the bus, I couldn't get there because so many of the Lobos fans and players were stopping me to say they thought the umpires cost us the game. To me, when the other team and their fans are saying that, that tells you something about what happened on the field.”
Aside from the calls on the field, Coach Young said the game was a classic battle between two teams that have a great deal of mutual respect for each other. Scotty Jameson suffered the loss after pitching another stellar game for the Pioneers. He gave up six hits, five walks and struck out 15 Lobos. Unfortunately, three errors by Powell's defense hurt his cause, in addition to calls made on the field, Coach Young said.
At the plate, the Pioneers finished with six hits against Lobos' pitcher Jake Williams, who was credited with the victory. Jameson had a team-leading two hits, and Brandon Sullivan, Tyler Dahlgren, Trent Gillett and Erik Brimhall had one each. Dahlgren led Powell with two RBIs, and Auston Carter added one after walking with the bases loaded.
Powell 8, Lovell 3
Powell opened the tournament Thursday by defeating Lovell for the third time in as many games this season. The victory, according to Coach Young, helped ease the sting of a pair of losses to Cody earlier in the week.
“I was curious to see how the guys would come back from those games against Cody,” Coach Young said. “They played well, and got the win. Lovell has got a pretty good team, so it was good to get that win.”
Trent Gillett continued to show how much he's improved as a pitcher by collecting the win. He picked up the complete-game win after allowing just four hits. He also struck out four Mustangs.
“His confidence is growing,” Coach Young said. “We needed a good performance from him because we had used so many pitchers earlier in the week. He responded well, and pitched a great game.”
Leading hitters for Powell included Jameson (two hits, two RBIs), Grant Geiser (two hits, two RBIs), Sullivan (two hits, one RBI), Dahlgren (two hits, two RBIs) and Giarrizzo (one hit).
Powell 12, Riverton 9
In their second game of the tournament Thursday, Powell scratched out a three-run victory against Riverton, a team the Pioneers swept in a doubleheader Monday, July 7. Schyler Borders got the win on the mound after scattering 13 hits over seven innings.
“Schyler stepped up and did well,” Coach Young said. “They got some hits and put the ball in play against him, but our defense made some good plays behind him. He didn't walk a lot of guys, and he did exactly what we needed him to do.”
Brimhall did most of the damage at the plate for Powell by collecting two hits and four RBIs. Other leading hitters for Powell were Jameson (three hits, one RBI), Gianluca Giarrizzo (two hits, two RBIs), Sullivan (two hits, one RBI), Dahlgren (two hits), Geiser (one hits, two RBIs), Carter (one hit), Andrew Young (one hit) and Gillett (one hit).
Powell 8, Billings All-Stars 7
Andrew Young, in relief of Sullivan, the starter, picked up the win after taking over in the second inning of Powell's first game Friday. Andrew Young entered the game with the bases loaded.
“It was a tough situation for him to inherit, but he handled it pretty well,” Coach Young said. “He gave up a few runs, but he continued to battle and he did a good job the rest of the way.”
For Andrew Young, the victory improved his season record to 4-0.
As for Powell's offense, it came through when it counted the most — in the bottom of the seventh. Powell, down 7-6, got its first base runner when Dahlgren was hit by a pitch. Carter and Andrew Young then drew walks. A passed ball helped Powell tie the game, and a run-scoring hit by Brimhall proved to be the game winner.
Powell's offense was led by Jameson, Geiser and Gillett, who each finished with two hits and one RBI. Dahlgren, Brimhall and Andrew Young also finished with a hit and one RBI each, while Sullivan, Carter and Casey Borcher finished with one hit apiece. Giarrizzo, though hitless in the game, also finished with an RBI.
Lobos 11, Powell 10
Also on Friday, the Pioneers suffered a one-run setback to the Lobos. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak, and shouldered Dahlgren, the starting pitcher, with a hard-luck decision.
“Tyler pitched a great game, and he deserved the win,” Coach Young said. “We just had too many errors behind him.”
Dahlgren scattered 14 hits over seven innings and surrendered four walks. According to Coach Young, Dahlgren was facing a small strike zone throughout the game, but he battled hard from start to finish.
“I know he got frustrated because the strike zone was about the size of a coffee can,” Coach Young said. “But he kept going after them, and I was really pleased with what he did for us.”
Dahlgren also paced the Pioneers' 13-hit attack with two hits and two RBIs. Others providing Powell's offense included Geiser (three hits, one RBI), Sullivan (three hits), Brimhall (two hits, one RBI), Gillett (one hit, two RBIs), Carter (one hit, one RBI), Andrew Young (one RBI) and Jameson (one hit).
• All-Tournament team: Overall, seven Pioneers were selected to the All-Tournament team. Jameson was chosen as the overall MVP, and Geiser was tabbed the offensive MVP. Also selected to the team wereCarter, Andrew Young, Dahlgren, Sullivan and Giarizzo.
The victory setup Powell's semifinal matchup with the Lobos Saturday.
• Up next: The Pioneers (25-13) are scheduled to face Riverton in a doubleheader Wednesday. Games are scheduled for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, Powell will host Cody in a doubleheader. That twinbill also is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Both twinbills are scheduled to be played at Ed Lynn Field in Powell.