A weekend home and away saw mixed results for the Powell Pioneers — winning a doubleheader at Laurel on Saturday 1-0 and 11-6 before returning home and losing a doubleheader to the Billings …
A weekend home and away saw mixed results for the Powell Pioneers — winning a doubleheader at Laurel on Saturday 1-0 and 11-6 before returning home and losing a doubleheader to the Billings Blue Jays 3-1 and 8-5.
POWELL 1, LAUREL 0
Offense was scarce for the Pioneers (9-7) and Laurel on Saturday, with Brock Johnson dominating on the mound for Powell.
Powell got its only run on the board in the top of the third inning.
Jhett Schwahn hit a single with one out to get on base.
An error during Johnson’s at bat put two on, and Cade Queen eventually made contact, with an error bringing in Schwahn to make it 1-0.
Over the next four innings the teams combined for four hits, but neither team could create noise offensively.
Johnson finished the complete game, finishing with only three hits against and 16 strikeouts.
“That’s probably the best game I’ve ever seen him throw,” manager Jason Borders said. “He was just dominant, everything was working.”
Reece Dolecheck finished with six strikeouts of his own for Laurel and gave up four hits — neither pitcher gave up an earned run in the contest.
POWELL 11, LAUREL 6
The second matchup featured a lot more firepower between the two teams, and Powell’s bats started earlier than the first game.
Schwahn got a single, but was picked off at first during Johnson’s at bat, who walked to keep one on for Powell.
Johnson stole second during Trey Stenerson’s at bat, and Stenerson hit a pop fly that led to an error and scored Johnson.
Queen singled and Aidan Wantulok singled to drive in Stenerson and make it 2-0.
Dalton Worstell was hit by a pitch — loading the bases with only one out.
Cole Fauskee singled to drive in Queen, but Aiden Greenwald and Ethan Welch both went out to end the scoring at 3-0.
After that point neither team got on the board until the bottom of the third, when Laurel got things started with a double and a hit batter — with the pair being brought in on an error to make it 3-2.
Another error brought in a runner and the score was tied 3-3 after the third inning.
Schwahn was walked to lead off the fourth, Stenerson was hit by a pitch and Wantulok was walked to load the bases with two outs.
Worstell doubled and cleared the bases, giving Powell a 6-3 lead.
Laurel responded in the bottom half, scoring three runs again to tie the contest 6-6.
A Greenwald walk and a pair of errors to Welch and Schwahn loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth.
Johnson singled to score Greenwald, Stenerson singled to score a pair and Queen singled to quickly make it 10-6 in favor of Powell.
Worstell walked, and Fauskee hit a sac fly to bring in the final run and make it 11-6.
Powell was able to hold off any challenges from Laurel, and finished with the sweep to extend the team’s winning streak to seven.
Stenerson, Worstell and Fauskee finished with two RBIs, while Johnson, Queen and Wantulok each drove in one.
Jacob Gibson finished with five strikeouts and did not give up an earned run in his six innings of work.
“Gibby (Gibson) threw well,” Borders said. “He kept going and going — I felt like he threw a pretty good game.”
BILLINGS 3, POWELL 1
After the short road trip Saturday the Pioneers returned home on Sunday to take on the Blue Jays for the second time this season.
Sunday started out like the first game Saturday, with the Pioneers finally getting the offense going in the third inning.
Johnston led off the inning with a single, and stole third during Queen’s at bat before Queen drove him in to make it 1-0.
Worstell was walked and Greenwald singled to load the bases but Powell was unable to create any more damage despite only one out on the board and led 1-0 after the third.
Billings scored one in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take the lead and extend it to 3-1.
Powell was unable to find anything late, and had its winning streak snapped at seven.
Queen finished with five strikeouts on the mound while giving up three earned — he finished with the only RBI for the Pioneers at the plate.
BILLINGS 8, POWELL 5
In the second game Billings took the lead immediately, putting one on the board in the top of the first.
Powell tied it in the bottom half of the second inning after Fauskee doubled to lead off the inning and was eventually driven in by Welch to make it 1-1.
The Pioneers gained the lead in the bottom of the third, after an error helped Queen reach base. He reached second after a wild pitch during Worstell’s at bat and was driven in by a Greenwald single to make it 2-1 Powell.
Billings responded, scoring two in the top of the fourth to make it 3-2 in favor of the visitors.
An answer came in the bottom of the fourth, when Kolt Flores walked and Schwahn was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out.
Another out set up Stenerson, who stepped up and hit a home run over the center field wall to make it 5-3 Powell.
From that point forward Powell was stifled at the plate, and Billings claimed the lead in the top of the fifth at 6-5.
That lead extended on a triple and a sac fly in the top of the sixth and Powell fell in the second game 8-5.
“Our pitchers pitched well enough to win,” Borders said. “We were in the games we just didn’t have the firepower.”
Stenerson finished with three RBIs, with Greenwald and Welch earning the other two.
Worstell gave up 10 hits and six earned while finishing with five strikeouts in the loss on the mound.
KIRBY DRUBE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Powell now heads to the Kirby Drube Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Gillette — where the Pioneers will face two Montana teams and three ‘AA’ opponents over three days.
“I think we are a pretty good baseball team,” Borders said. “If we can go and compete and stay in some baseball games then maybe we can steal a couple games. If we can come away with a win or two that would be a win for the weekend.”
The weekend kicks off against Jackson (11-2) and Laurel on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Powell then takes on Bozeman at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and then the Gillette Roughriders (16-6) at 5 p.m.
The weekend concludes with a third matchup between the Pioneers and the Sheridan Troopers (8-9) at noon Monday. The Pioneers lost to the Troopers on the opening weekend of the season 9-1 and 13-7 in Powell.