“It was definitely good to see the hits,” said Pioneers coach Mike Jameson, whose club improved to 20-12 for the summer. “We’ll win a lot of games if we keep hitting the ball the way we did today. The other thing that was nice was that we didn’t leave a lot of runners on base.”
After almost a month on the shelf with a shoulder injury, Seth Gilmore made his return to the field for the Pioneers and showed few signs of rust. Gilmore made a pair of first-inning stops on ground balls hit his direction at short stop and hit safely in his first three plate appearances, including a 2-run home run to right field that helped stake the Pioneers to a big lead in game one.
Frankie Vogt drove home a pair of first-inning runs with a double and followed Gilmore’s homer with a solo blast of his own to the left field power alley. Starting Powell pitcher Josh Cragoe added a second-inning triple as Powell surged to an 8-0 lead after two innings.
Gilmore and Vogt each added RBIs in the third inning to press the Pioneers’ advantage to 10-0 before Livingston began to tag Cragoe for runs.
Livingston scored three runs in the fourth and fifth innings to stave off the arrival of the 10-run rule, but in each case saw the Pioneers put runs on the board to recover some or all of the damage done. The Pioneers, leading 15-7, finally brought an end to the contest in the sixth as Vogt was hit with a by a pitch and moved to third on a base hit from Bryce Wright.
Wright moved to second before Beuster flaired a base hit to left-center. The shot scored Vogt easily, but Wright was thrown out at home attempting to score the winning run.
Gage Henderson kept the inning alive with a base hit to move Beuster into scoring position at third. The Pioneers’ veteran player scored moments later as Livingston threw a wild pitch to Olie Olson to bring an end to the game.
Cragoe threw six innings for the victory, improving to 2-1 on the season. He gave up 10 hits and three walks while striking out four.
Henderson and Beuster each finished 4-for-5 at the plate in the contest. Gilmore and Hayden Cragoe added three hits apiece in the contest.
In the nightcap, Powell handed the ball to Olie Olson. After getting tagged for five runs in the first two innings, Olson settled into a groove, giving up just two more runs over the final five frames.
Despite the rocky start, Olson was never in danger of taking a loss. The Pioneers answered Livingston’s early outburst with six runs of their own. Cory Heny came up with an RBI double as part of a four-run second inning for the Pioneers that gave Powell a 6-5 lead that the team would not relinquish.
Josh Cragoe finished 3-for-3 with a trio of base hits and a sacrifice fly in the contest. Gilmore and Vogt added 3-for-4 performances. Gilmore’s three hits included a double and a triple in the contest. The pair also finished the day with six RBIs each between to the two doubleheader games.
Olson improved to 2-1 on the mound. He finished the game allowing seven hits and three walks, but struck out five batters. The Pioneers were guilty of three errors in the field.
“We scored in every inning today except for one,” said Jameson.
Things could get better for the Pioneers. Justin Lynn missed Sunday’s twinbill, but should return to give Powell a full complement of players on Tuesday when the team returns to conference play with a doubleheader in Lovell. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 4 p.m.