Pioneers drop to 0-4 on pair of walk-offs

Host Evanston Sunday

Posted 4/27/23

A trip north to Montana had the Powell Pioneers on the wrong end of a pair of walk-off finishes — losing to the Billings Blue Jays 6-5 and the Billings Cardinals 4-3.



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Pioneers drop to 0-4 on pair of walk-offs

Host Evanston Sunday


A trip north to Montana had the Powell Pioneers on the wrong end of a pair of walk-off finishes — losing to the Billings Blue Jays 6-5 and the Billings Cardinals 4-3.



Powell (0-4) came out strong early, with Brock Johnson getting a leadoff single and Jhett Schwahn bringing him home with a double to quickly make it 1-0 for the Pioneers.

Unfortunately for Powell, that was all the offense that came in the first inning.

Billings did not respond in the bottom half, allowing the Pioneers to grow their lead in the second.

Aiden Greenwald was hit by a pitch, but Ryan Cordes hit a fly ball which was caught and turned into a double play to put Powell down with two outs.

Consecutive walks to Ethan Welch and Johnson put two baserunners on and gave Powell a chance with two on and two outs.

Welch and Johnson advanced a base each after a wild pitch during Schwahn’s at-bat to give the Pioneers runners at second and third.

Schwahn again hit a double and drove in Welch and Johnson to extend the lead to 3-0.

Trey Stenerson singled in the next at bat, and brought in Schwahn to make it 4-0 before the inning came to an end.

“We hit the ball a lot better,” manager Jason Borders said. “It felt like we were putting a lot of balls in play but they were just right at people.”

Johnson continued his strong play on the mound for the Pioneers, keeping the Blue Jays at bay until the bottom of the fourth when Billings brought in two — cutting the lead down to 4-2.

The comeback was on when a triple led-off the bottom of the fifth and Billings capitalized — scoring two in the inning to tie the game 4-4.

A Stenerson single led off the sixth, and a subsequent steal during Cade Queen’s at bat put him in scoring position.

Aidan Wantulok brought in Stenerson on a single, regaining the lead for Powell at 5-4.

With that run the Pioneers continued to cling onto the lead until the bottom of the seventh.

A single and a walk got runners on for the Blue Jays with one out on the board.

An error on a ground ball brought in a run and advanced scorers to second and third, with only one out and the game tied 5-5.

A single to left field brought in a score and gave the Blue Jays the walk-off victory.

Schwahn finished with three RBIs, while Stenerson and Wantulok got one each.

Powell outhit the Blue Jays 7-5, but four Pioneer errors  compared to one for Billings was the difference.

Johnson finished with six strikeouts, two earned runs and two walks in three innings pitched for the Pioneers.

Jacob Gibson walked one and had one strikeout with no earned runs in 3.1 innings of relief work.



In the second contest of the day the Pioneers squared off with another team from Billings, and Powell once again got on the board first.

Johnson was walked to start, and stole second during Schwahn’s at bat to move into scoring position.

Stenerson brought in Johnson, which gave Powell the early 1-0 lead.

Billings answered back in the bottom of the second, when a pair of runners scored on a single coupled with an error to give Billings a 2-1 lead.

The lead grew to 3-1 later in the inning on another single, putting Powell in search of runs to stay in the contest.

Powell found its offense in the fourth, when Schwahn and Stenerson put two baserunners on early.

After two outs, Dalton Worstell drove in both runners on a single to center, which was coupled with an error to tie the game 3-3.

From that point forward neither team scored over the next couple of innings until the seventh.

A triple led off the bottom of the seventh for the Cardinals, and the Pioneers were unable to get out of the jam despite an out and the Cardinals gave the Pioneers a second consecutive walk-off loss.

“We had both of them won but just didn’t hold on,” Borders said. “They are Billings teams, they don’t make a lot of mistakes, so it’s hard to steal runs off them.”

The Cardinals outhit Powell 7-4, and the Pioneers finished with four errors compared to two for Billings.

Worstell finished with the only RBI for the Pioneers.

Queen finished with six strikeouts and gave up one earned run in six innings of work.

Stenerson had one strikeout in the seventh inning.



Powell returns home this weekend to take on in-state competition once again, taking on ‘A’  Southwest opponent Evanston (0-0) at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“They [Evanston] dropped down to ‘A’ this year,” Borders said. “Teams change so much through graduation you never know what to expect.”

He said the team is continuing to work on catching ground balls and fly balls as they have been able to transition outside more with improving weather — looking to improve their defense early in the season.