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Little Leaguers fourth at state

Powell’s Jeremy Herd fires a pitch toward home plate during district tournament action for the All-Stars. The team faced a quick turnaround for the state tournament after finishing as the district runner-up. Powell’s Jeremy Herd fires a pitch toward home plate during district tournament action for the All-Stars. The team faced a quick turnaround for the state tournament after finishing as the district runner-up. Courtesy photo/Mark Wentz

Last Powell baseball team playing ends season

The last baseball team playing in Powell this summer was also the youngest baseball team playing. The Powell All-Stars 9-10 year-old team dropped a pair of games in Gillette to finish fourth in state during tournament play this week.

Powell advanced to state play by virtue of finishing second in its district tournament the previous week.

The Powell team, comprised of players from the league’s Minors division teams this summer, held the lead in both of their state tournament games. Both games wound up as losses as the local all-stars saw their opponents mount some big-inning rallies.

On Monday against Sheridan, the All-Stars built a 5-1 lead in their state tournament opener as Kaelan Groves crossed home plate twice. Colin Queen, Reece Hackenberg and Carson Heinen added one run apiece. Pitching from Queen and Groves and a solid defensive combined to keep Powell on top in the contest.

Entering the fifth (and final) inning, Powell began to run up against the tournament’s pitch count and began to rotate bodies onto the hill. The result was a 13-run outburst from Sheridan that sent the game spiralling out of control. Powell was unable to match the big number during its final at-bat, falling by a 14-5 final score.

On Tuesday, Powell was paired against Laramie in an elimination contest. Once again, the team was able to build a sizable lead and was up 8-1 on Laramie. The southern Wyoming representatives came storming back, however. Laramie tagged Powell for eight runs in one inning to grab the lead.

Laramie widened the gap, but Powell maintained its chances as the game progressed. Trailing by one run, Powell recorded its final out with the bases loaded with orange-clad all-stars.

Hackenberg scored three of Powell’s 12 runs. Groves, Queen and Heinen each added two while the remaining scoring was produced by Cameron Wentz, Jeremy Herd and Jacob Herd.

Powell’s players were presented with fourth place medals at the conclusion of the contest.

More details were also provided about Powell’s district tournament games last week in Mountain View.

Powell opened play with a 15-5 win over Bridger Valley. Groves and Heinen each scored three runs in the victory. Two runs were scored by Hackenberg, Bennett Walker and Jeremy Herd. Queen, Kanyon Gann and Charlie Whitlock had one run each.

Hackenberg and Queen combined to throw the victory for Powell.

In the semifinals, Powell took a 10-5 win over Rock Springs that ensured its place in the state tournament. Groves scored two runs while virtually every other Powell player in uniform crossed home plate once as team balance ruled the day. Groves and Heinen combined to win the game on the mound.

In the championship game, Riverton set the tone with a home run on the second pitch of the game as Powell fell by a 12-1 count. Gann had Powell’s only run, coming home to score on an RBI triple off the bat of Queen.

That Riverton team will be playing for the state title today (Thursday). Laramie advanced to face Sheridan on Wednesday with the winner joining Riverton in the championship contest.

In the 11-12 year-old division of the state tournament in Gillette, Cody defeated Laramie by a 6-3 count on Tuesday to advance to the championship game. The Park County squad will face either Riverton or Laramie, who met Wednesday afternoon to determine the challenger.

Cody needs just one win today (Thursday) to advance as Wyoming’s representative in regional Little League play in San Bernadino, Calif.

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