Team heads to state in Gillette
The Powell Babe Ruth 15-year-olds head to state tournament play as a number-one seed this week following a sweep of the competition in district play. The Powell all-stars defeated Cody, Lovell and Greybull-Basin on successive days to capture the district title.
This week, they’ll head to the state tournament in Gillette looking for a title and an opportunity to advance to Pacific Northwest regional play. Powell has won the state Babe Ruth title in two of the last three years. The team reached the Pacific Northwest regional semifinals in the summer of 2010.
Powell put the final touch on an undefeated weekend with an 18-8 win over Greybull-Basin on Saturday morning. After a few nervous moments early on, the Powell squad broke the game open with four runs in the fourth inning and a 10-run monster fifth inning that enabled the team to end the contest two innings early via the run rule.
Grady Sanders doubled in Powell’s big fifth inning, part of a day in which the youngster reached base safely in all five of his at-bats and scored four times. Sanders also picked up the win on the hill for Powell, striking out six in four and two-thirds innings.
Jeron Smith added a 3-for-4 day at the dish, scoring three runs as every Powell starter crossed home plate at least once in the contest.
Greybull held a 5-4 lead after the third inning, as Powell batters were off balance early on. Once the all-stars forced Greybull to dip into its bullpen during a four-run fourth inning though, things quickly spiraled out of control for the challengers.
The all-stars await word on their pool play schedule this week. The state tournament takes place in Gillette.
In other Babe Ruth action from the weekend:
Powell 11, Cody 10
Kristian Stenlund’s one-out single in the seventh drove in a pair of runs to rally Powell past their Park County rivals in the opening round of the district tournament. Powell trailed 10-5 heading into the sixth inning, but found a way to win late.
Ben Wetzel led off the seventh with a double, his second of the game, and moved to third after Kaden Moore reached first base safely on his sacrifice bunt attempt. Cason Asher followed by drawing a walk to load the bases and set the stage for Stenlund’s heroics.
Powell was only in position to win thanks to a three-run sixth inning that started on Matt Sweet’s one-out walk and steal of second. Teagan Cordes followed with a base knock to chase in Sweet and Matt Brown followed with a single. Sanders knocked in both runners as he was 3-for-3 at the plate. Wetzel also had a three-hit game for Powell.
Sanders also picked up the win after tagging in for Brown in the sixth inning as the pitcher of record. After giving up a lead-off walk to Cody to open the bottom of the seventh, Sanders struck out two of the final three batters he faced and coaxed an infield fly to first base to seal the win for Powell.
Powell 18, Lovell 6
Powell bats struck early and often in a five-inning run-rule victory on Friday. With game-time temperatures pushing triple digits, the Powell all-stars wasted no time getting to work.
Powell held a modest 3-1 lead after the first inning, but broke the game open in the second when the team plated seven runs, all coming after Lovell had safely retired Powell’s first two batters. The local all-stars added four more runs in the third, two in the fourth and capped the game with two runs in the fifth.
Smith was the beneficiary of Powell’s offense as he earned the win on the mound. Mike Larson also saw some hill time in the contest.
Offensively, Brown had the game’s only extra-base hit for Powell with a double. Sweet reached base and scored following all five of his plate appearances.