Heavy metal stars

Posted 6/30/09

“That was old school baseball there,” coach Jeff Young said of the championship contest. “That was just two good pitchers out there giving it everything they had and two teams battling at it. It could have gone either way. We made …

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Heavy metal stars


{gallery}06_30_09/pioneers{/gallery} Scotty Jameson narrowly avoids getting tagged and spiked while stealing second during Sunday's championship game against the Billings Blue Jays. Jameson scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 3-2 Pioneer victory. Tribune photo by John Wetzel Pioneers run streak to 13 with tourney title Colter Bostick singled home Scotty Jameson with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to deliver a 3-2 victory over the Billings Blue Jays and the championship of the second-annual Heavy Metal Classic in Powell. The win came after Powell had won each if its three pool games and ran the Pioneers' winning streak to a club-record 13 games and improved the team's record to 25-9 overall.

“That was old school baseball there,” coach Jeff Young said of the championship contest. “That was just two good pitchers out there giving it everything they had and two teams battling at it. It could have gone either way. We made the play we had to at the end for it to go our way.”

The Pioneers had plenty of early chances, but failed to get on the scoreboard until Grant Geiser led off the fifth inning with a solo home run that hit off the scoreboard in right field. The Pioneers added another run in the frame to take a 2-1 lead.

That was almost enough for Geiser, who also served as the Pioneers' starting pitcher in the championship contest. Geiser extracted himself from situations where the Blue Jays had runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth inning and also stranded a lead-off double at second in the sixth inning.

The Pioneers were down to the last out in the top of the seventh when the Jays tied the score on a line-drive single that fell just in front of center fielder Gianluca Giarrizzo to tie the contest.

Powell wasted little time in getting the win. Scotty Jameson led off the bottom of the seventh with a base hit and, after a failed sacrifice bunt attempt by Tyler Dahlgren, reached second base via a steal. Bostick's single to right moments later brought Jameson in to score and cleared the Pioneers' dugout in celebration.

“Grant pitched as good a game as you could ask,” said Young. “You can't throw any better than he did in that game. He threw strikes. He got guys out when he needed to.”

The title game drama was the only uncertainty for the American Legion Post 26 crew at this year's Heavy Metal Classic. Powell registered a pair of five-inning run-rule wins sandwiched around a 14-6 victory over the Billings Cardinals.

The Pioneers' run-rule wins came 15-5 over Billings Big League baseball on Friday and 11-1 over Newcastle on Saturday. Powell held leads of 11-0 in both games before giving up opposition runs.

Giarrizzo was 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs in the tournament opener against Big League Baseball. Tyler England added a 2-for-3 showing with two runs scored.

Josh Cragoe was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBIs in the Newcastle contest. Dahlgren and Auston Carter each drove home two runs while Andrew Young ended the night with three RBIs despite going just 1-for-1.

In the Friday night game against the Cardinals, Powell was able to build a 4-1 lead in the first inning before a thunderstorm moved through the area and suspended play. The contest was resumed the following morning.

“The city guys did a great job getting that field ready to play again,” said Young. “If you'd seen the puddles that were on that thing by the time it stopped raining on Friday night, you would have thought there was no way the field would have been ready the next day. They stayed there late rolling it and getting the water off and just did a great job making it ready for Saturday.”

Jameson finished 3-for-4 in the game with 3 RBIs. England was 2-for-2 with three runs scored from the number nine spot in the batting order.

The Pioneers travel to Jackson on July 2-3. The road date may also include games against an Idaho opponent.

“When we talked this winter, there was conversation about bringing a team from Idaho over,” said Young. “We'll find out later this week exactly what's going on there.”

Powell's next home date will be July 5 when Green River and the Billings Halos come to town. The game against the Halos will be played with wooden bats in preparation for the Halos' wood bat tournament the following week.

Tyler England lays out to corral this throw to third base during the Pioneers' Saturday evening game against Newcastle. Powell ran its winning streak to 13 games while capturing the championship of its own Heavy Metal Classic tournament. Tribune Photo by John Wetzel