Pioneer perfection

Posted 7/20/10

“Going undefeated in conference play was one of our goals that we set,” said Pioneer head coach Mike Jameson.

“We wanted to set ourselves up well for the district tournament. Now we have a few more goals that we want to take …

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Pioneer perfection


{gallery}07_20_10/pioneers{/gallery}The baseball eludes Powell Pioneer second baseman Dallas Robirds while attempting to make a play against a Cody Cubs baserunner during the Pioneers' 13-1 victory in Cody last week. Tribune photo by Ben Wetzel Pioneers finish undefeated run through Northwest ConferenceThe Powell Pioneers used a revolving door philosophy on Sunday to sweep a doubleheader from Jackson in the final regular-season games of the summer for Post 26. The Pioneers' wins came by final scores of 15-8 and 14-4. The victories also placed the final touches on an undefeated conference campaign. Powell was 12-0 against its fellow Northwest Conference members this year and carries a 37-12-2 mark into district tournament play this week in Cody.

“Going undefeated in conference play was one of our goals that we set,” said Pioneer head coach Mike Jameson.

“We wanted to set ourselves up well for the district tournament. Now we have a few more goals that we want to take care of.”

The Pioneers adopted an unusual strategy to place the final pieces in its unbeaten conference puzzle. Powell used five pitchers as the coaching staff sought to give everyone a small taste of Sunday's action in advance of this week's district tournament.

“We wanted to give everyone some live work and keep them fresh and in shape for the tournament,” said Jameson. “Going in, we decided we were going to limit people to 50 pitches or so.”

Grant Geiser got the ball to start game one for the Pioneers. After retiring the first batter via strikeout, Geiser was tagged for five consecutive base hits, leading to an early 4-0 Jackson lead.

Powell broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom half of the second. Eleven Pioneer batters paraded to the plate as Powell scored seven runs in the inning. Josh Cragoe's two-run home run —his third trip over the outfield fence in as many games — and Tyler England's two-run double were among the more damaging blows delivered by Pioneer bats in the frame.

The Pioneers continued to pile it on in the third as the team once again sent 11 batters to the plate. Geiser aided his own cause with an RBI double and England registered his third RBI of the game with a base hit to help Powell extend its lead to 13-4.

Jake Beuster took his turn on the pitching mound to open the fourth inning and received the same rough greeting that Geiser faced. After striking out his first batter, Beuster endured a stretch of five consecutive Jackson hits, including three doubles, as Jackson scored three runs. A pinpoint throw from Geiser to catcher Auston Carter cut down a Jackson baserunner at home, preventing the visiting team from getting closer than 13-7.

Cragoe doubled in a run in the bottom half of the inning while Garrett Czapla added an RBI double in the fifth for the Pioneers. Jackson scored its final run in the top of the seventh as Cragoe threw the final three outs for the Pioneers.

Six of Powell's nine starters finished with at least two hits in the game as Pioneer bats tagged Jackson for 15 hits in the contest.

Powell's offense continued to churn in the nightcap, cranking 13 hits off Jackson pitching in just four and two-thirds of an inning. England and Cragoe set the tone early for Powell as the duo at the top of the Pioneers' batting order opened the game with back-to-back triples.

Cragoe also added a two-run double in the second inning to stretch the Pioneers to a 4-0 lead.

Jackson tied the contest in the top half of the third, chasing Pioneer starter Colt Nix from the game. Olie Olson entered in relief and retired the first two batters he faced to prevent further damage.

From there, Powell bats took over. Powell sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, scoring eight runs. Olson helped his own cause with a two-run single early in the inning while Colter Bostick connected for his 10th home run of the season — a three-run shot that ballooned Powell's lead to 12-4.

Geiser and Dallas Robirds drove in the final two runs of the bottom of the fifth to force an end to the proceedings via the 10-run rule.

Olson picked up the win after throwing an inning and two-thirds for Powell. Auston Carter threw the final three outs in a non-save situation, striking out two.

Powell opens district tournament play at 1 p.m. on Thursday in Cody. The team opens against Sheridan. The Pioneers are 3-1 against the Troopers this season, but the two teams have not played since the Pioneers swept a home doubleheader back on June 9.

Powell 13, Cody 1

Josh Cragoe connected for two of the Pioneers' four home runs in the contest as Powell completed a regular-season sweep of Cody with a 13-1 victory last Wednesday.

Unlike the three previous games against the Cubs this season, each of which saw the Pioneers jump out to an early lead, Powell had to work into the later innings to secure an advantage this time around.

Powell led just 2-1 entering the fifth inning, thanks to Tyler England's second home run of the season and an RBI triple off the bat of Grant Geiser. Cragoe's first home run, a two-run shot early in the fifth extended Powell to a 4-1 lead. The team added another run on an Auston Carter sacrifice fly to right field later in the frame.

The bulk of the Pioneers' damage came in the sixth inning though, as Powell planted six runs on the scoreboard. All of the scoring came after the Cubs had retired the first two Powell batters of the inning on infield pop-ups.

England walked and Cragoe was hit by a pitch to begin the two-out rally. Scotty Jameson and Geiser both doubled, driving in a run each. Carter recorded his second RBI of the night with a sharp base hit and a Cody error brought another Pioneer run in to score. Colter Bostick finished off the inning with his ninth home run of the year, giving Powell a double-digit lead.

Cragoe completed Powell's scoring in the top of the seventh inning, connecting for another two-run homer. For the night, Cragoe was 2-for-4 with four RBIs.