In Riverton, Hayden Cragoe pitched Powell to a win in game 1. The Pioneers took the contest by a 14-3 final count. Cragoe, in his first season of American Legion ball, allowed just four hits in six innings of work. He struck out seven and walked four before handing the ball off to Justin Lynn, who worked a peaceful seventh inning to close out the game.
Tyler England finished 2-for-3 at the plate with four runs scored. Seth Gilmore swung the bat at a 4-for-5 clip and Olie Olson went 2-for-4.
Despite the offense, the game was actually tight until Pioneers threw up five runs in the sixth inning to put some daylight on the scoreboard between themselves and Riverton. Another four runs in the top of the seventh helped to cement the victory.
In the nightcap, it was Olson’s turn to take to the mound. After a rocky start, the Pioneers’ pitcher settled into a groove to help the team break away from a 3-3 tie for a comfortable eight-run win.
“Olie got a lot stronger as the game went along,” said Pioneers’ coach Mike Jameson.
For the night, Olson finished with nine strikeouts on the mound. He allowed five hits, but was also hurt by some wildness that created four walks and a pair of hit batters.
Offensively, Gilmore and Josh Cragoe each finished with three hits. Nathan Fulton was 2-for-4 at the plate while Frankie Vogt drove in a trio of runs.
Last Friday, the Pioneers opened the Fourth of July weekend with a trip to Douglas. After having troubles scoring runs against the Cats during a doubleheader in Powell earlier this summer, the Pioneers had no such difficulties in Douglas. Powell swept the Cats by scores of 11-2 and 13-8.
Colt Nix threw what Jameson described as “one of his best games of the year” in game 1. Nix needed just 78 pitches to go the distance in the seven-inning victory, allowing just six hits and a walk while fanning two.
Josh Cragoe finished 3-for-4, with a pair of doubles and a solo home run. Gilmore added a 4-for-5 performance with the bat and England continued to provide instant offense with three runs scored.
In the nightcap, Powell jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Douglas even stepped in to the batter’s box, but promptly gave that lead away by allowing the Cats to score five runs in the bottom of the first.
Josh Cragoe continued to swing a hot stick, going 3-for-5 in the late game. Pioneer starting pitcher Frankie Vogt added a 3-for-4 game that included a three-run home run as part of a four RBI game. Gilmore also went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. All three of Gilmore’s hits were doubles.
Vogt worked four innings, allowing seven runs on just three hits. He walked three and hit another two batters. Vogt also struck out three. Josh Cragoe and Gilmore took turns relieving Vogt, combining to allow just one more Douglas run while striking out another four Cat batters.
“Offensively, we took a better approach at the plate,” Jameson said, explaining how the Pioneers tallied 24 runs in two games against a team that had previously held them to just four in the first doubleheader meeting of the summer. “The guys are doing a better job of finding ways to get on base. Now we need to work on doing that in every inning instead of waiting for one or two big innings. We want to win every inning.”
The Pioneers struggled to win any innings on Sunday against Rock Springs. Powell starter Jake Beuster was chased from the hill after throwing just one inning after a grand slam home run in the top of the second lifted the visiting Mustangs to an 8-0 lead. Hayden Cragoe threw an inning in relief, but also had trouble controlling the Mustang bats and eventually handed the ball off to Gilmore in the third inning.
Unfortunately, by that point, the Pioneers were in a 12-0 hole. The team never extracted itself, scoring four of its five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning as it fought to stave off the run rule in the scheduled nine-inning game.
“Hopefully this was just one of those days,’ Jameson said afterward. “We just didn’t come ready to play today. Maybe the long road trip to Douglas had something to do with it. I don’t know.”
The Pioneers are now 21-13 overall. The team is 6-0 in conference play.
Powell was scheduled to host Green River in a weekend doubleheader, but those games were canceled when Jameson learned less than 72 hours before the first pitch that Green River was not planning to make the trip.
“We learned about it at Riverton,” Jameson said. “One of the guys that covers Legion baseball said he’d been told they weren’t coming. That was the first I’d heard of it.”
Jameson didn’t receive official word of Green River’s plans to not travel to Powell for Saturday’s games until Thursday.
The Pioneers travel to Casper to compete in the Mike Devereaux tournament. That event starts today (Thursday) and runs through Sunday. The Pioneers also played a Wednesday afternoon conference doubleheader against Riverton. Results from those games were unavailable as of press time and will appear in Tuesday’s paper.
The Pioneers will host Rawlins in a July 15 doubleheader that currently is scheduled as the team’s final home games of the season. A home conference doubleheader against Lovell that was rained out in May has yet to be rescheduled. Team officials are eyeing July 14 as a possible date for those games.