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Pioneers fall to open season

Team drops 12-2 games to Troopers

The Powell Pioneers opened the 2011 baseball season in Sheridan on Saturday, dropping a pair of doubleheader games by identical 12-2 final scores. Both games were stopped after six innings.

“It’s the early part of the season and the games were closer than the scores show,” said Pioneer head coach Mike Jameson. “We had a few key plays we didn’t make and a few key hits that we didn’t get. It could have been a lot different ball game.”

Powell jumped in front early, grabbing a 2-0 lead after Olie Olson delivered a two-run triple. The Pioneers also stranded the bases loaded early in the game before Sheridan found a groove at the plate to grab a 6-2 lead. The Troopers uncorked a six-run sixth inning to close out the game.

“We just couldn’t hang on,” said Jameson. “Our bats fell asleep.”

Olson finished 2-for-3 in the contest. Seth Gilmore added a ground-rule double while Frankie Vogt, Nathan Fulton, Colt Nix and Josh Cragoe each had hits.

Jake Beuster took the loss on the hill, but drew rave reviews for his pitching performance.

“Jake threw really good for his first outing of the year,” said Jameson. “He gave up just six hits. He had his control and didn’t walk guys. It was definitely what we wanted to see there for the first outing.”

The second game followed a similar script as Powell grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Sheridan began piling on runs.

Cragoe finished 3-for-3 at the plate for the game. Tyler England and Beuster each added hits.

“It was a little discouraging not to get the ball in play against their pitcher in the second game,” Jameson said. “He was throwing probably 90 percent fastballs, and we weren’t aggressive enough. We need to take a better approach at the plate and become better hitters.”

Colt Nix threw 3.2 innings in the loss. Gilmore and Olson followed in relief.

Powell will look for its first win of the season on Saturday in Billings. The Pioneers are scheduled for a doubleheader against the Halos, but will be down at least four players in that game.

“We’ll have some kids at track, so we’ll be playing with a short roster,” Jameson said. “I’m not concerned by these first games. The scores made them look worse than they really were.”

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