One of the most difficult weekends the Pioneers will see all season resulted in a set of tight battles before the team ran out of steam — with Powell defeating Jackson ‘AA’ 2-1, …
One of the most difficult weekends the Pioneers will see all season resulted in a set of tight battles before the team ran out of steam — with Powell defeating Jackson ‘AA’ 2-1, losing to Laurel 4-3, losing to Bozeman 5-4, losing to Gillette ‘AA’ 8-0 and Sheridan ‘AA’ 9-0 at the Kirby Drube Memorial Tournament in Gillette.
POWELL 2, JACKSON 1
Starting out the weekend, the Pioneers (10-11) battled against the Giants (12-5) on Saturday afternoon.
Neither team scored in the first two innings, before Jackson got on the board in the top of the third.
A triple with two outs put a runner in scoring position, and a single brought him across to make it 1-0.
Powell wasn’t able to find a response until the sixth inning, when Ethan Welch led off with a single.
After a bunt and a fly out Welch was on third, and Brock Johnson hit a single to drive him in to tie it 1-1.
Trey Stenerson singled which advanced Johnson to third, who scored on a wild pitch during Cade Queen’s at bat to make it 2-1.
Johnson finished his strong game on the mound, pitching a complete game only giving up four hits and one earned run alongside 10 strikeouts.
“That was a big win,” manager Jason Borders said. “They were ranked third in ‘AA’ — Brock threw well. It was a really good start.”
LAUREL 4, POWELL 3
In the second matchup in the Saturday doubleheader, the Pioneers came up against Laurel (6-9), a team Powell defeated twice the weekend prior.
Laurel got on the board first after a triple with two outs got a runner in scoring position, and an error brought him in to make it 1-0 after the first.
Powell did not have an answer early on, after a single and triple led off the second for Laurel to make it 2-0.
A third run came in on the next play on a ground out, and Laurel made it 3-0 after the second inning.
Powell got on the board in the top of the fourth, starting with a Jhett Schwahn single to lead off.
Schwahn stole second during Stenerson’s at bat, and Stenerson eventually drove him in and advanced to second base on an error by the shortstop to make it 3-1.
Queen singled to bring in Stenerson, and Powell cut the lead to 3-2 after four innings.
Johnson singled to lead off the sixth and stole second during Stenerson’s at bat — advancing once more to third after tagging up on a fly out.
Queen hit a sac fly to drive in Johnson, tying the game 3-3.
The game seemed destined for extra innings after two outs to start the bottom of the seventh for Laurel.
Unfortunately for Powell, a single put a runner on which was followed by a dropped third strike.
The Pioneers intentionally walked the next batter, loading the bases and putting a force out at each base.
The next Laurel batter was hit by a pitch, bringing in the winning run to make it 4-3 in a walkoff.
Queen pitched a complete game, giving up four hits, and one earned run compared to four strikeouts.
BOZEMAN 5, POWELL 4 (8 innings)
After a difficult loss Saturday night the Pioneers turned around on Sunday to take on Bozeman.
Bozeman put Powell in an early jam, loading the bases in the bottom of the first with two outs.
Powell was able to come out unscathed, keeping it 0-0 after the first.
The Pioneers got runners of their own on to start the second, with a leadoff single by Queen followed by an Aidan Wantulok single.
Both advanced a base on a wild pitch during Dalton Worstell’s at bat.
Queen was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice from Worstell’s hit.
Both Wantulok and Worstell advanced on the next fielder’s choice by Aiden Greenwald’s hit — before Wantulok scored on a wild pitch during Welch’s at bat to give Powell a 1-0 lead.
Bozeman answered in the bottom of the second, tying the game 1-1.
Three straight walks for Powell led off the top of the third inning, loading the bases with no outs.
Stenerson was hit by a pitch to bring in a run.
Schwahn scored on a wild pitch, advancing the runners — before Queen hit a sac fly to drive in another.
Powell was unable to drive in any more runs, but took a 4-1 lead and held onto that lead until the sixth inning.
Bozeman scored two after three straight singles in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-3, and another single brought in the tying run.
Neither team found a winning run in the seventh, and Powell was unable to score in the top of the eighth.
A single, a walk and another single loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth with no outs.
An error on the next play brought in the winning run, and the Pioneers fell in a second straight walkoff 5-4.
“We were just a hair away from being 3-0 on the weekend,” Borders said. “You can look at it negative and say we can’t finish or you can look at it as we are always competitive and in games against tough teams. I look at it as a positive right now.”
Jacob Gibson nearly pitched a complete game, giving up four earned with three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings before Worstell relieved him late in the contest.
GILLETTE 8, POWELL 0
After the late loss the Pioneers turned around to take on the Gillette ‘AA’ Roughriders (22-6) to cap off Sunday night.
The Roughriders got the scoring going in the bottom of the first after a ground out, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead early.
They didn’t get on the board again until the bottom of the fourth, after an error got a runner on second — who advanced to third on a line out. The runner eventually scored on a dropped third strike to make it 2-0.
Things remained close before the game got away fully from the Pioneers in the bottom of the fifth.
Gillette put away the contest with six in the inning, sending the Pioneers to an 8-0 loss.
Powell finished with two hits from Queen while committing three errors as a team.
SHERIDAN 9, POWELL 0
Wrapping up the tournament Monday the Pioneers matched up with the Sheridan Troopers (10-11) for the third time this season.
Neither team found offense in the first two innings, before Sheridan broke open the game in the top of the third with four hits mixed with errors and hit batters to make it 6-0.
Sheridan put the game out of reach in the top of the fourth with three more runs, and the contest finished after the fifth inning.
Powell had two hits, both from Johnson, coupled with three errors as a team.
“We got two hit those last two games, that’s unacceptable,” Borders said. “We were playing up in competition and held our own for the most part. I was happy with the way it went.”
WEEKEND ROAD TRIP
Powell was set to host Buffalo (1-8) in a doubleheader at home Wednesday and was supposed to open conference play Thursday (today) at Lovell.
The game against Lovell has been rescheduled, and Borders said it is expected to move to sometime the weekend of June 23 or 24 but no date has been set in stone.
That game will take the place of the Lovell ‘A’ tournament that was supposed to happen that weekend but is not expected to due to lack of teams.
Powell will head back on the road this weekend after the short pit stop at home Wednesday night, heading north and east for two sets of doubleheaders.
That starts with a pair in Billings on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. against the Blue Jays, a team which the Pioneers are 0-3 against this season.
Powell then drops down back into Wyoming to take on the Sheridan Jets (6-5) on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. — the ‘A’ Sheridan team the Pioneers split a doubleheader with in Sheridan earlier this season.
“I am looking for four wins,” Borders said. “If we play defense and pitch like we have been then we should be fine. I hope we come out and start hitting the ball.”