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13 all-stars edged in title game

Late rally falls just short

Forced into a winner-takes-all title game by a late Cody rally on Saturday, the Powell Babe Ruth 13-year-old all-stars tried to muster a similar formula for success Monday. Powell’s efforts to battle back from a nine-run hole fell just short though as Cody took an 11-9 win in the title game.

Both Powell and Cody advanced to play in this week’s state tournament in Worland.

For the Powell all-stars, things did not go well early on. Cody jumped to a four-run lead in the top of the first inning by virtue of walks and passed balls. The local team was able to get one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning as Ezra Andreason singled to lead off Powell’s half of the inning and raced home a short time later as Carson Asher launched a ball off the left-field fence for an RBI double.

Defense was on display in the second inning. Andreason threw out a runner from behind the plate for the second out of the frame. Seconds later, Powell starting pitcher Grady Sanders caught a Cody baserunner leaning the wrong way off first base and initiated a rundown that ultimately saw five of the six members of Powell’s infield handle the ball before the coup de gråce was delivered by Andreason, who raced down from his catcher position to fill in the rundown rotation at first base.

Cody stretched its lead to 10-1 after the top of the third as accuracy continued to be a problem on the mound for Powell. Cody managed just one hit in the six-run frame.

Powell’s bats finally came to life in the fourth inning. Kaden Moore and Zach Easum led off with singles. Cole Brown added a walk to load the bases for the all-stars. Following an RBI sacrifice from Teagan Cordes, Andreason and Asher each connected for RBI singles.

Then came the big blows. Alex Aguirre sent a ball to the wall in left-center for a triple. Sanders followed suit a couple pitches later with a three-bagger of his own, scoring seconds later to bring Powell to within 10-7 on the scoreboard.

The two teams exchanged runs in the fifth inning to keep the margin at three runs. Cody appeared to be destined for more runs in the sixth before another display of defense from Powell squashed the notion.

The all-stars appeared to be in trouble when a one-out blast sailed over the head of Aguirre in center field for what appeared would be a triple. An accurate throw to Asher in the relay position, followed by a pinpoint toss to Sanders at third gunned down the Cody runner by nearly a full step. Brown snared a comeback line drive out of the air on Cody’s next swing of the bat, keeping the score at 11-8.

Both teams failed to add to the score in their next at-bats, sending things into the bottom of the seventh inning with Powell in need of at least three runs to extend the game.

Things started well as Brown reached base on a dropped third strike. Tucker Darrah followed with a double and Cordes delivered his second sacrifice of the game, bringing home a run and bringing the tying run to the plate with just one out.

Powell sent the next two balls into the outfield on the fly, but both were tracked down by Cody in center field to wrap up the game.

Powell was scheduled to play Casper in a Wednesday afternoon game to begin state tournament play in Worland. Powell plays Laramie at 10 a.m. today (Thursday) and wraps up the pool portion of competition with a 10 a.m. Friday game against Gillette. The top two teams from pool play advance to cross-bracket semifinal play on Saturday with the championship game slated for Saturday afternoon.

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