Pioneers split doubleheader with Halos

Meyer, Queen strong on the pitcher's mound

Posted 6/6/19

The Powell Pioneers Legion A baseball team returned to action Monday afternoon, splitting a home day/night doubleheader with the visiting Emmanuel Halos from Billings.

Holding a 5-3 lead late in …

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Pioneers split doubleheader with Halos

Meyer, Queen strong on the pitcher's mound


The Powell Pioneers Legion A baseball team returned to action Monday afternoon, splitting a home day/night doubleheader with the visiting Emmanuel Halos from Billings.

Holding a 5-3 lead late in the opener, the Pioneers’ pitching fell apart in the top of the seventh, allowing the Halos to plate four runs in a 7-5 comeback win.

Not to be outdone, and realizing the first game had been theirs to lose, Powell settled in for the second game and controlled the action throughout. Starter Colin Queen gave up just four hits and struck out 15, while Landon Sessions went 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in three runs in a 7-1 win.

“It was a good day for us, but I definitely would have liked to have two wins,” said Pioneers manager Joe Cates. “But things happened in that first game and we gave it away in that last inning.”


Halos 7, Pioneers 5

Ryley Meyer got the start on the hill for the Pioneers in the first game, in search of his first win in three attempts. After giving up a run in the first, Meyer settled in for another solid outing, giving up just two more runs over the next five innings.

“Ryley threw great for us,” Cates said. “That’s his third straight outing where he’s thrown pretty well. He battled all night long, but had three errors behind him — that would have taken away a couple of the runs he gave up. But for the most part, he threw strikes. He’ll get a win, hopefully sooner than later.”

The Pioneers answered the Halos’ run in the first with one of their own. After Queen doubled, Cameron Schmidt reached first on an error and Queen advanced to third. Schmidt was thrown out stealing second, but a miscue by the Halos’ second baseman allowed an alert Queen to score from third, tying the game at 1-1.

Meyer went to work in the top of the second, retiring the first three batters, two by strikeout. The Pioneers kept the bats hot in the bottom of the second: A pair of singles by Sessions and Noah Blough put runners on first and second with one out. Sessions was caught stealing third, but Nate Brown was hit by a pitch to keep two on with two outs. Kobe Ostermiller drove a single to left, scoring Blough and moving Brown to third; Queen singled for his second hit of the game, knocking in Brown and Ostermiller to make it a 4-1 game

“We hit pretty well; the wind was in our favor a little bit there,” Cates said. “I still think we could have done better with the bats, but it’s coming along.”

The Halos plated two runs in the top of the third to pull within 4-3. Powell scored once more in the botom of the fifth, when Queen singled and scored on a sacrifice by Meyer to push the lead to 5-3.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Meyer was pulled in favor of Cameron Wentz, who retired the next two batters to end the inning. Trouble came in the top of the seventh, however.

After getting the first batter out, Wentz gave up a single and a walk. The Halos’ Josiah Shaw then tripled, clearing the bases and tying the game at 5-5.

The Halos scored twice more, taking the lead for the first time since the first inning at 7-5, and that’s where the score would stay.

“Wentz came in in the sixth inning and got those two outs, and he was looking good,” Cates said. “That seventh inning comes around, and he struggled a bit. He’ll probably start on Wednesday, so we’ll keep getting him in there.”

The Pioneers finished the game with eight hits, led by a 3-for-4, 2 RBI performance by Queen. Ostermiller, Schmidt, Garrett Stutzman, Sessions and Blough added a hit apiece, with Ostermiller and Meyer each knocking in a run.

Meyer gave up three runs on five hits while striking out five in five innings. Wentz gave up four runs on three hits in relief, taking the loss.


Pioneers 7, Halos 1

The nightcap between the Pioneers and the Halos began as a pitcher’s duel, with the game scoreless through the first 3 1/2 innings. The top of the first, however, had the Powell manager wondering if Queen was in for an off night, after he walked the first two batters.

“In the first inning, I was like, ‘gah, he kinda looks ugly.’ I was wondering who I was going to have to get warmed up,” Cates said, adding, “He was going full count, his curveball was missing up. He wasn’t throwing terrible, he was just off.”

But with two on and no outs, Queen settled in, striking out the side to end the inning. He then retired nine of the next 13 batters he faced — striking out seven.

“He [Queen] found a way to battle without having his best stuff,” Cates said. “And by the end of the game, he still struck out 15. It was good.”

The Pioneers finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, when Schmidt scored on a Sessions single. The Halos answered in the top of the fifth, tying the game at 1 on a passed ball.

Powell retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth, when Ostermiller scored on an error. With the score 2-1, Sessions drove in his second run of the night, scoring Ashton Brewer, and the inning ended with the Pioneers leading 3-1.

After a three up-three down top of the sixth, the Pioneers added to their lead in the bottom of the inning, plating four more runs. Stutzman started things off with a single to center, followed by a Wentz sacrifice. Zane Cordes then walked and Ostermiller singled on a fly ball to center — scoring Stutzman and putting Cordes on second. Queen walked to load the bases, and with two outs following a fielder’s choice, Brewer hit a grounder that the Halos’ shortstop couldn’t handle. That scored Ostermiller and Queen. Sessions then singled for his third hit of the night, scoring Brewer to push the lead to 7-1.

“Landon Sessions has been doing really good for us; he’s really picked it up,” Cates said. “His ability to step in and pick it up quick is good to see and his at-bats keep getting better. He did exactly what he needed to do. He waited, he was patient — he wasn’t chasing pitches. He took what came to him and got the job done.”

Powell’s Nate Brown came in to pitch the top of the seventh, and retired all three batters he faced, striking out two to clinch the 7-1 win. Until that point, Brown had been playing shortstop, a position usually held by his brother Jesse, who was out sick.

“That doesn’t happen very often, but he [Nate Brown] did OK,” Cates said.

Sessions led the charge at the plate for the Pioneers, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs. Stutzman collected a pair of hits and is hitting the ball well, according to Cates.

“He [Stutzman] flew out deep to left, and he crushed a ball down the third base line,” he said. “His last at-bat, he squares one up the middle for another single. Those might have been the three hardest balls hit all night.”

Ostermiller and Brown had a hit apiece, with lead-off hitter Ostermiller driving in a run.

“He [Ostermiller] is aggressive enough to where he’s not going to watch a lot of good pitches down the middle,” Cates said. “And when he gets on, he’s got such good speed that there’s not much I can’t do with him. He scored from first base on a bunt-and-run — not something you see often.”

Queen picked up his second win of the season with his 15-strikeout performance.

The Pioneers were at home again Wednesday afternoon for a rematch with the 406 Flyers. The team opens conference play on the road Saturday, with a doubleheader scheduled at Riverton.

Powell Pioneers