Pioneers B squad runners-up at state tourney

Fall to Sheridan in championship game

Posted 7/23/19

The Powell Legion B baseball team posted a solid 15-12 record in the regular season, and head coach Colby Stenerson knew his team had the talent to make a postseason run.

The Pioneers did exactly …

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Pioneers B squad runners-up at state tourney

Fall to Sheridan in championship game

Posted

The Powell Legion B baseball team posted a solid 15-12 record in the regular season, and head coach Colby Stenerson knew his team had the talent to make a postseason run.

The Pioneers did exactly that over the weekend at the Legion Class B State Tournament in Sheridan, posting a 3-2 record and advancing to the championship game against host Sheridan. Highlights included upsets of perennial powerhouses Laramie and Cheyenne, as well as a 14-1 rout of cross-county rival Cody.

“We had a great tournament. I think the team really defied expectations,” Stenerson said. “The kids seemed like they kind of peaked at the right time, and we played the best baseball we had played all year.”

The Pioneers were no-hit by Sheridan in a 10-0 loss early in the tournament, but battled back through the loser’s bracket to earn another shot at the eventual champions. Unfortunately, Sheridan proved too much to handle in the rematch, with Powell losing 14-0. The Pioneers had three singles from Brock Johnson, Kolt Flores and Jhett Schwahn.

Stenerson told his team prior to the championship game that they had nothing to lose, and to go out and play hard.

“They played hard, they competed,” he said of his team. “The kid Sheridan had on the mound [Trevor Stowe] was the eventual tournament MVP, and he’s just a great player. We pitched well. They [Sheridan] just kept finding our holes.”

Though the championship game didn’t end the way the Pioneers had hoped, coach Stenerson said the team was in good spirits following the contest.

“We were really happy when it was all said and done. The team didn’t hang their heads,” he said. “We knew we were up against really tough competition. ... If someone had told us that we were going to take second in that tournament, I don’t know if we would have believed it.”

The Pioneers were given the Sportsmanship Award following the tournament — an honor coach Stenerson said was well-earned.

“We had a lot of nice compliments about how our kids acted and played, from other parents, coaches and umpires,” he said. “We’re proud of that. This is just a great group of kids.”

Stenerson also thanked the Legion A Pioneers and manager Joe Cates for their help during the course of the season.

“We practice with them [the Pioneers A team] each day, and our team has learned a lot from Coach Cates,” he said. “The A players have been very supportive and pushed our kids in practice.”

 

Pioneers B 14, Laramie 4

The Pioneers opened the state tournament on the right side of a 14-4 rout over Laramie, led by Johnson’s 4-for-5, four RBI performance. Powell pounded out 14 hits, with four players finishing with multiple hits.

“We just had our bats going,” said coach Stenerson.

Johnson also got the start for the Pioneers on the mound, giving up no runs on four hits while striking out four in two innings.

Powell plated the first run of the game in the bottom of the first, when Jhett Schwahn hit a bases-loaded, two-out single to score Cade Queen.

The Pioneers broke the game open in the bottom of the second, plating five runs to take a 6-0 lead. Johnson hit a double to score Ryan Cordes, then Queen and Canyon Gonzales hit back-to-back singles to score three more runs; Schwahn recorded his second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly.

Powell scored twice more in the third and again in the fifth; Laramie cut the lead to 9-4, but the Pioneers exploded for another five runs in the bottom of the sixth. An RBI double by Schwahn, an RBI single by Keaton Rowton and a two RBI double by Johnson ran the score to 14-4, and the game ended on the 10-run rule.

Johnson picked up the win with Kolt Flores, Landon Sessions and Cordes all pitching in relief, giving up a combined four runs on six hits. Flores struck out three.

Johnson (four), Queen (three), Gonzales and Schwahn (two each) all had multi-hit games. Trey Stenerson, Rowton and Cordes each finished with a hit. Queen, Gonzales and Schwahn drove in a pair of RBIs apiece.

 

Sheridan 10, Pioneers B 0

Thursday’s game featured the first of two contests against eventual champion Sheridan, and the Jets proved why they were deserving of the title. Sheridan’s Hunter Stone and Rich Hall combined to throw a no-hitter.

“I thought our kids competed, but our backs were against the wall,” coach Stenerson said. “We did the best we could. And we beat them one time this season, so we knew we could play with them.”

The coach called Sheridan a quality team with a lot of experience.

“They had an age jump on us too — older kids, strong arms,” he said. “They 10-runned every team they faced in this tournament.”

 

Pioneers 1, Cheyenne 0

Looking to bounce back from Thursday’s loss to Sheridan, the Pioneers found themselves in a pitcher’s duel on Friday against Cheyenne. A gem from Johnson on the mound coupled with a timely run in the bottom of the fifth gave the Pioneers a hard-fought 1-0 win.

“That was a great game. Both teams played extremely well,” coach Stenerson said. “There were hardly any errors in that game, and both pitchers were strong.”

The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the fifth, when Rowton scored on Johnson’s sacrifice bunt. Trey Stenerson had attempted the squeeze play earlier in the inning, but fouled the pitch off and wound up walking to load the bases.

“With Brock [Johnson] up, we ran it again and Keaton Rowton was at third and they executed it perfectly,” coach Stenerson said. “That ended up being the difference.”

Johnson got the complete-game shutout, while the Pioneers finished with three hits (from
Schwahn, Sessions and Cordes).

“Cheyenne is a super-strong team, and they are huge,” Stenerson said. “They had some of the best hitters we saw all tournament. They hit a couple of stand-up doubles, and we just buckled down and shut them down after that. Our kids didn’t flinch, and they did well.”

 

Pioneers 14, Cody 1

The Pioneers squared off against a familiar opponent on Saturday: The Cody B squad, a team Powell had split 2-2 with during the regular season.

Saturday’s contest was all Powell, however, as the Pioneers pounded out 12 hits in a 14-1 drubbing. Flores got the start on the mound and was dealing, giving up just one run on four hits in five innings.

“Kolt [Flores] ... did a great job. He shut them down,” coach Stenerson said. “Cody had a great tournament, but I think pitch limits may have caught up to them a little bit. We had our sticks going big time. We did everything well that game.”

The Pioneers had their bats going early and often, taking a 8-0 lead by the second inning. In the first, back-to-back RBI singles scored the first two runs; Noah Blough later stole home to push the lead to 3-0. Flores helped his own cause by singling and scoring on an error.

The Cubs scored a run in the top of the second to make it 4-1, but in the bottom of the frame, the Pioneers scored four more. After a walk by Cordes and a single by Trey Stenerson, back-to-back RBI singles by Johnson and Queen gave Powell a 6-1 lead. Johnson later scored on a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Flores made the score 8-1.

In the third, after a single by Jace Nordeen and a walk by Cordes, Trey Stenerson singled to clear the bases, giving the Pioneers a 10-1 lead.

In the fourth, Flores reached on a walk and Schwahn singled before scoring on a wild pitch. That was followed by an RBI double by Cordes to make it 12-1. Cordes and Trey Stenerson then scored on errors to push the lead to 14-1. After the Cubs were held scoreless in the top of the fifth, the game was called due to the 10-run rule.

Stenerson and Flores had two hits and two RBIs, Johnson and Queen each had two hits and an RBI, while Blough, Cordes, Schwahn, Landon Sessions and Nordeen each finished with a hit, with Blough and Cordes driving in a run.

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