Pioneers come from behind to claim win in return of baseball

Posted 5/26/20

It was typical baseball in the month of May: cold and windy.

But that’s the only thing ordinary about Wednesday night’s action at Ed Lynn Memorial Field in Powell.

For starters, the …

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Pioneers come from behind to claim win in return of baseball

Posted

It was typical baseball in the month of May: cold and windy.

But that’s the only thing ordinary about Wednesday night’s action at Ed Lynn Memorial Field in Powell.

For starters, the game between the Powell Pioneers and the Lovell Mustangs itself made news. It marked the lifting of the COVID-19 curtain that had shut down all baseball team activities — and sporting events at all levels — in Wyoming and across the country.

Social distancing restrictions and other health guidance governed play on the field and fans in the stands, but nothing detracted from the fact that baseball was back.

The game had dramatics all its own — especially for the home team.

In fairness, the first of the season meeting was billed as a scrimmage, co-mingling A team and B team players. Lovell’s A team built an 8-3 lead after five innings before play was turned over to the B team (younger) players.

The Mustangs actually increased their lead to 10-3 after six innings, but then the tide turned in a big way.

Lovell pitchers’ inability to find the strike zone contributed to a wild, 11-run Pioneer seventh inning — all with two outs. Powell sent 15 batters to the plate in the inning, as base hits by Dylan Payne, Nathan Feller, Ethan Welch and Keaton Rowton made the most of a parade of walks, as the Pioneers took a 14-10 lead.

After Lovell failed to score in the top of the eighth inning, the Mustang pitching woes continued. Powell scored six times on seven more walks to end the game by the 10-run rule, 20-10.

Pioneers manager Joe Cates came away pleased by his team’s early season performance.

“I was real happy at how we played,” Cates said, noting that practices and team activities have been limited by the coronavirus restrictions.

“It was encouraging to see where we are. I was afraid we would be a lot further behind,” Cates said.

Though Pioneer A team batters managed only four hits in five innings, “we were swinging at good pitches, and we put the ball in play,” Cates said.

Cameron Wentz had a two-run single in the first for the Pioneers, and he added a third RBI with a groundout in the third. Kobe Ostermiller, Brock Johnson and Colin Queen had the other base hits for Powell.

“We were solid defensively for the most part,” Cates said. “We had two big errors that accounted for five of their runs.”

The Pioneer manager sent eight different players to the mound for an inning of work each. He was pleased with what he saw, as Lovell managed only a couple of hits. Powell pitchers did give up 10 walks in the first night out.

Powell’s pitching rotation for the night featured, in succession, Colin Queen, Cade Queen, Landon Sessions, Cameron Wentz, Brock Johnson, Jacob Gibson, Trey Stenerson and Nathan Feller.

The Pioneer A team will be on the road Friday, for its official season opener against the Billings Halos.

Powell Pioneers

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