Posted 7/27/10

The Powell All-Stars did just that, adding three runs to the ledger. Lynn held up his end of the bargain as well, responding to three consecutive Rock Springs singles to open the seventh inning by registering back-to-back strikeouts before coaxing …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in



{gallery}07_27_10/allstars{/gallery}With teammates looking on from the dugout, Marshall McArthur awaits a pitch in the batter's box during Saturday's state championship game between Powell and Rock Springs. Tribune photos by Randal Horobik Powell Babe Ruth repeats as state champs Leading by just one run going into the bottom of the sixth inning against Rock Springs, Powell Babe Ruth closer Justin Lynn made a deal with his teammates in the dugout.“I told them if they got me some runs, that I'd make it hold up,” said Lynn.

The Powell All-Stars did just that, adding three runs to the ledger. Lynn held up his end of the bargain as well, responding to three consecutive Rock Springs singles to open the seventh inning by registering back-to-back strikeouts before coaxing an infield fly ball that sealed back-to-back state titles for Powell with a 9-7 victory in the championship game of the 2010 Wyoming state Babe Ruth tournament.

Saturday's championship was a brief moment of drama in what, for the most part, was an otherwise overwhelming jouring through the state field by the All-Stars. Powell earned a top seed into Saturday's semifinals with pool play wins of 12-2 over Rock Springs, 16-4 over Sheridan and 9-4 over Laramie. Powell's semifinal win was a 14-3 blowout of Green River.

“It was good to see how we played with a little adversity,” said Pudge Fagan, coach of the All-Stars team moments after being drenched with the contents of the water bucket. “They showed character and just kept plugging away.”

“I like the feeling of knowing everything comes down to me,” Lynn said of his love for the closer's role. “I knew I had to step up. All tournament, I'd been able to strike kids out and I didn't want to change my approach.”

Powell trailed just once in the championship contest, but unlike other tournament games was never able to manufacture a large inning to give the team any sort of comfortable margin. Rock Springs used an error and two-out single to take an early 1-0 lead, holding that slim edge until Powell came to bat in the second.

Initially, it appeared Rock Springs' lead would endure into the third inning. The visiting team successfully retired the first two Powell batters of the inning and appeared to have a bead on the third before a fielding bobble allowed the All-Stars to reach base on the error.

That would be all the break Powell required. Tyler Patterson followed with a base hit and Brendan Phister singled home Powell's first run. After a steal of second, Phister and Patterson both charged in on Cory Heny's two-run single to left.

Rock Springs put single runs on the board in the third and fourth innings to tie the contest at 3-3, but the moment was short-lived.

Powell uncorked a three-run bottom of the fourth inning to go back on top. Lynn's two-out triple was the big shot of the outburst.

Rock Springs continued to fight, adding a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to pull within 6-5 and set up the late-game drama.

Patterson, Phister and Heny connected for consecutive one-out singles in the bottom of the sixth, with Heny bringing across a run.

Lynn followed with a ball back to the pitcher, but as Rock Springs turned to make the play at first, Phister charged home across the plate to make it 8-5. Cooper Wise later added an RBI single to round out the scoring for Powell.

Wise earned the victory on the mound for Powell, throwing five innings during which he allowed just four hits and struck out six. Lynn pitched the final two innings, fanning three.

“We knew this game would be a step up from the others that we'd played,” said Heny, who finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the championship contest as Powell's No. 9 batter. “We just had to step up and finish it off.”

The bottom third of Powell's batting order stepped up in a big way in the title contest. Heny, Phister and Patterson combined to go 7-for-9 and drove in five of their team's nine runs.

“I look a lot of batting practice before the game,” said Phister, who finished Saturday with four two-out RBIs between Powell's semifinal and championship games. “Being 14, this is my first year and it just feels amazing to win state.”

By virtue of the victory, Powell advances to the Pacific Northwest Regional tournament. The event will be held in Klamath Falls, Ore. Powell will be making its second appearance in as many years in the event.

“It's awesome. It (the regional tournament) is a fun experience,” said Frankie Vogt, one of five All-Star players who helped break a four-decade drought by qualifying Powell for regional play last season. “We'll have to play as a team, because there are a lot of good teams and good players there.”

The All-Stars are guaranteed four pool games in Oregon against representatives from northern Oregon, southern Washington, southern Oregon and the tournament host Klamath Falls team. Games begin on Aug. 3.