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August 04, 2008 2:36 pm

Pioneers third in West District Tournament

Written by Tribune Staff

Young squad earns berth in state event
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Gianluca Giarrizzo is a study in concentration as he prepares to make contact with a pitch against Cody during the West District Class A Tournament in Powell last week. Tribune photo by David Dickey
A six-team field battled for the top spot in the West District Class A Tournament in Powell last week, and the Jackson Giants emerged as the first-place finisher after topping the Cody Cubs 10-9 in Sunday's championship game.
Powell, the event's host team, achieved a 1-2 mark during its matchups and was forced to settle for third place, and Riverton finished fourth. The top four teams qualified for Legion Baseball's Class A State Tournament, which is slated to begin Wednesday in Cheyenne, and only the combined Worland-Lander team and Lovell were left on the outside looking in from the West District following last week's action at Ed Lynn Field. As for the East District, Wheatland, last year's state champion, garnered the first-place trophy and finished ahead of Cheyenne, Gillett and Douglas, who rounded out spots two through four.
For the Powell Pioneers (32-19), their bid for the district title ended after three games in the double-elimination tournament. During their first contest against Riverton, Powell emerged as a 12-1 winner in a five-inning affair and qualified for this week's games in Cheyenne. However, Coach Jeff Young's team dropped a 6-3 decision to Cody in the semifinals and fell 11-6 to Jackson in a Saturday loser-out game. Despite the fact the Pioneers will enter the state event with a two-game losing streak, Coach Young remains optimistic about his team's chances for a strong finish to the 2008 season.
“I think we're going to be OK,” Coach Young said. “I think the guys were a little disappointed that they didn't finish better, but I don't have any major concerns going into state. Our main goal last week was to win that first game and qualify for state, and we took care of that. Then we lost a close game against Cody and ran into a Jackson team that's been playing really well lately.
“Getting knocked out of the tournament like we did might actually work to our advantage. It gives us a little more time to get some guys rested. I think that will help us because we were a little banged up after our game with Jackson Saturday.”
As of press time Monday, final brackets for the state tournament were not available. The bracket for the double-elimination tournament will posted to the Powell Tribune's Web site as soon as it is provide.
Powell 12, Riverton 1
On Thursday at Ed Lynn Field, the Pioneers disposed of Riverton in five innings. Pioneer starting pitcher Scotty Jameson yielded just three hits in the game and picked up the win.
Powell opened the contest by picking up two runs in the first inning and followed with a four-run second. Jameson drove in Powell's third run with a bases-loaded walk, which was followed by Grant Geiser, who hit into a fielder's choice which scored another run. A walk by Brandon Sullivan ensued, and Brimhall picked up an RBI with yet another bases-loaded walked issued by the Raiders. A single by Tyler Dahlgren lifted Powell to a 6-0 lead by the time the second inning came to a close.
Riverton picked up a run in the top of the third, but Powell again responded with four more runs in the bottom of the inning. A Raider error accounted for the Pioneers first run in the inning, and Geiser followed with a two-run triple. Dahlgren later picked up another RBI with a single.
Jameson shut down Riverton in the top of the fourth, and Powell forged ahead 12-1 by the end of the inning, thanks to an RBI-double by Jameson and a wild pitch with a runner at third base.
Trailing by 11, Riverton was unable to generate any runs in the top of the fifth, and the game ended via the 10-run rule. With the win, Powell earned a spot in the semifinals against Cody in the 7 p.m. game Friday night.
Cody 6, Powell 3
In a well-played game Friday, the Cubs came away with a hard-fought, three-run victory. Cody struck first when Caleb Rivera scored from third on a double steal in the opening inning. Powell answered quickly with a solo home run by Jameson in the bottom of the first. The hits continued to flow after Jameson's homer, but Cody starting pitcher Don Brockus escaped a bases-loaded situation and failed to yield another run in the inning.
The Cubs made Powell pay for stranding three runners in the top of the second when Rivera smacked a two-run double that scored Daniel Sinner for the Cubs lone run of the inning.
Brockus then retired all three Pioneers he faced in the bottom of the second, and Cody came back with two more runs in the top of the third. The first of those came on a bases-loaded walk against starter Tyler Dahlgren. The second run scored on a sacrifice by Gunnar Lampe.
Powell failed to score in the bottom of the third, but Dahlgren kept the Cubs from extending their lead in the top of the fourth when he retired three straight batters after giving up a leadoff single to Rivera.
In their next trip to the plate, the Pioneers loaded the bases for the second time, but once again Brockus was able to escape without giving up a run.
The Cubs added a run-scoring single by Sinner in the fifth to go ahead 5-1, but just when it was looking like the Pioneers were slipping out of the contest, Dahlgren launched a two-run home run. That's as close as Powell could get, however, as Cody added an RBI-single by Jeremy Tuten in the sixth inning to end the scoring. In the final two innings, Powell was only able to muster a walk and a single against Brockus, who is 3-0 against the Pioneers this season.
“Not getting runs when we had the bases loaded hurt us,” Coach Young said. “You have to take advantage of situations like that, especially against a team like Cody. It was still a good ballgame. I thought Tyler did a good job for us on the mound. He had one rough inning, but he battled back and getting the job done. He also had a big, two-out home run for us. After he did that, I thought we would get things rolling, but it just didn't happen for us.”
Dahlgren, who gave up eight hits, four walks and hit three batters, finished as the pitcher of record for the Pioneers, who dropped into the losers' bracket to face Jackson, the loser of their first matchup with Cody earlier in the day Friday.
Jackson 11, Powell 6
Jackson, playing its third game of the tournament, got a solid pitching performance from starter Luke Moulder in a five-run victory over the Pioneers. He benefitted from a three-hit, three-run first inning by the Giants off of Geiser, Powell's starter.
Dahlgren drove in the Pioneers' first run in the bottom of the first with a bases-loaded walk. However, Coach Young's team, like they did against Cody, failed to take advantage of a bases-loaded situation shortly after Dahlgren's walk and left three on base.
The Giants pushed their lead to 5-1 before Powell Erik Brimhall recording an RBI-singe in the bottom of the third inning. Jackson answered with a four-run, four-hit inning in the fourth.
Trailing 9-2, Powell got an RBI on a sacrifice by Geiser in the fifth inning, but that run was later matched when Jackson got a bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth.
Powell did manage to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth on a passed ball and a two-run single by Gianluca Giarrizzo, but those proved to be the final runs for either team in the late stages of the game. Jackson went on to win two straight against the Cubs to secure the district title. Their win Sunday gave them 14 win in their last 17 games.
Geiser, who gave up 10 hits, suffered the loss on the mound for Powell. Moulder picked up the win for the Giants after holding the Pioneers to six runs on six hits.