Pioneers salvage doubleheader sweep

Win streak reaches five

Posted 5/18/23

A furious rally by the Powell Pioneers after trailing 10-2 jumpstarted a doubleheader sweep over the visiting Billings Cardinals on Sunday. Powell defeated the Cardinals 12-11 after a Cade Queen walk …

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Pioneers salvage doubleheader sweep

Win streak reaches five


A furious rally by the Powell Pioneers after trailing 10-2 jumpstarted a doubleheader sweep over the visiting Billings Cardinals on Sunday. Powell defeated the Cardinals 12-11 after a Cade Queen walk off and then secured a 3-2 victory in the second game.



In the second matchup of the two teams this season, the Pioneers (7-5) were looking to avenge a walk off loss to the Cardinals three weeks earlier.

Billings scored in the top half of the first but the Pioneers had an answer early.

Jhett Schwahn singled but was out after Brock Johnson’s at bat after a fielder’s choice at second.

Johnson stole second and third during Trey Stenerson’s at bat, while Stenerson eventually walked to give the Pioneers runners on the corners.

Stenerson stole second during Cade Queen’s at bat, and Queen also walked to load the bases with two outs.

Aidan Wantulok and Dalton Worstell both singled to bring in a runner each, and give Powell a 2-1 lead after the first inning.

Billings ramped things up in the second inning, putting up six runs including a three-run home run to make it 7-2.

That lead extended in the third with another three scoring to put Powell in a 10-2 hole.

Stenerson got a double in the bottom half, and advanced to third during Queen’s at bat after a wild pitch.

Queen drove in Stenerson on a single and Powell started chipping away at the lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Pioneers got momentum early.

With one out on the board, Ethan Welch was hit by a pitch, Ryan Cordes was walked and Schwahn was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Johnson struck out for out number two, before Stenerson doubled to clear the bases and make it 10-6.

With momentum on their side, Queen stepped up for the Pioneers and hit a high ball over the left field wall — giving him a two-run home run and making it 10-8.

“There were big hits from Trey at crucial times,” manager Jason Borders said. “Cade had a big day.”

Powell was unable to get any more in the inning, and the Cardinals scored one in the top of the fifth to reestablish a three run lead.

The Powell offense came alive again in the bottom of the sixth, when Stenerson reached on a walk, stole second and Queen singled to advance Stenerson to third. 

Wantulok grounded out to score Stenerson and also advance Queen to third.

Dalton Worstell singled to drive in Queen — pulling the Pioneers within one heading into the final inning.

Three straight Cardinal outs gave the Pioneers a chance, needing two for a victory.

A walk to Welch started the inning, but two straight outs put the Pioneers’ backs against the wall.

A walk to Johnson and a Cardinals error during Stenerson’s at bat loaded the bases for Queen.

He got a hit, scoring Welch and Johnson to finish with a two-RBI, walk-off single to give the Pioneers the come from behind victory.

“It was a great comeback,” Borders said. “A lot of teams would have laid down. I was proud of them — they fought through it.”

Queen finished 4-4 on the day, driving in five runs.

Stenerson finished with three RBIs, while Wantulok and Worstell each finished with two.

Worstell got the win on the mound — finishing the final four innings giving up three hits and one earned run in relief for Aiden Greenwald.



Despite the continued windy conditions the fireworks did not carry over from the first game, in a much lower scoring affair.

Powell scored in the bottom of the first, when Schwahn singled and Johnson doubled. An error on the throw brought in Schwahn to make it 1-0.

Queen continued his hot hitting, smacking a single while another error on the throw brought in Johnson to make it 2-0 after the first.

The strong start continued in the second, starting with a single by Welch and a bunt by Greenwald that was followed by a Billings error that allowed Greenwald to reach first to give Powell two on with no outs.

Cole Fauskee hit a sac bunt to advance the runners, and a single by Cordes loaded the bases.

Schwahn hit a sac fly, bringing in Welch to give Powell a 3-0 lead early.

The Cardinals got one back in the second but neither team found offense for a majority of the game.

Billings got another run after loading the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth, putting Powell in a jam.

One out was recorded when the run was scored, before Queen struck out another before reaching his pitch count.

Johnson stepped up to the mound, finishing the inning and the game while only surrendering one walk in the seventh to give Powell the 3-2 victory — the fifth in a row for the Pioneers.

“We just had to play enough baseball to get out of that [early] funk,” Borders said. “I knew they’d figure it out.”

Schwahn finished with the only RBI for the Pioneers.

Queen finished giving up four hits, two earned and eight strikeouts in just under six innings on the mound.

“I feel like that’s the one thing we’ve done consistently since game one is pitch well,” Borders said. “I feel like our pitching staff is going to keep us in everything.”



With school winding down and the temperatures beginning to heat up, the Pioneers’ schedule is beginning to ramp up to end May.

That starts with a trip to Laurel to play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

“Laurel is always a great program,” Borders said. “They are well coached and they do things right.”

Powell returns home Sunday to take on the Billings Blue Jays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. — a team that defeated the Pioneers 6-5 on a walk off on April 23.

“The Blue Jays walked us off in Billings and we are looking to get them back,” Borders said. “We will be missing a couple [of our players] on Sunday due to graduation.”

That will be the final tune up before the Pioneers head to Gillette to take part in the ‘AA’ Kirby Drube Memorial Tournament over Memorial Day weekend.