After a difficult first two weekends of the season the Powell Pioneers finally got on the win column Sunday — defeating the Evanston Outlaws 7-6 in extra innings and 13-3 in five innings for a …
After a difficult first two weekends of the season the Powell Pioneers finally got on the win column Sunday — defeating the Evanston Outlaws 7-6 in extra innings and 13-3 in five innings for a doubleheader sweep.
POWELL 7, EVANSTON 6 (F/9)
A return home after a quick road trip the weekend before helped the Pioneers (2-4) get a much needed boost in front of a home crowd against the newly ‘A’ southwest opponent Outlaws (1-3).
Unfortunately for Powell, errors came early and often in the first matchup — with Evanston taking advantage and posting an early 1-0 lead after two innings.
Powell got on the board in the third inning, when Ethan Welch earned a walk and advanced to third after a passed ball during Jhett Schwahn’s at bat and a Schwahn single. Brock Johnson brought in Welch on a single to tie the score 1-1 after three innings.
In the fourth, Powell got runners on early after Trey Stenerson was hit by a pitch to lead off, and Aidan Wantulok was walked.
Stenerson stole second and third during Wantulok’s at bat, and was eventually brought in after a passed ball to give Powell a 2-1 advantage.
Dalton Worstell singled to get on base, and a sacrifice bunt by Aiden Greenwald advanced the runners.
Jacob Gibson hit a sac fly to bring in Wantulok and advance Worstell, who stole home during Welch’s at bat to make it 4-1 after four innings.
Three errors in the fifth inning gave the Outlaws momentum, leading to five runs for the guests and a 6-4 lead.
“We got a ground ball and we’d either boot it or throw it away,” manager Jason Borders said.
Powell had an answer in the bottom half of the inning, which started with two singles by Cade Queen and Schwahn.
A balk advanced both runners, and a sac fly by Johnson brought in Queen.
A Stenerson double brought in Schwahn, but the Pioneers were unable to do additional damage and the game remained tied at six.
For two straight innings neither team was able to get a baserunner, sending the game to extra innings. Neither team scored in the eighth, and Evanston couldn’t find any offense in the top of the ninth.
An error put Welch on base. He was replaced as a baserunner by Ryan Cordes after he advanced to second on the same error.
A walk to Queen put a second runner on, but two straight outs put the Pioneers in a difficult scenario.
Stenerson hit a strong ball up the third base line, and an error on the catch at first gave the Pioneers the win as Cordes crossed the plate.
“That’s (errors) been our season,” Borders said. “We’ve been hitting well enough to win games. Luckily they kicked some around too.”
Johnson finished with two RBIs, while Stenerson and Gibson each finished with one.
Gibson and Queen combined to only give up one earned run and seven strikeouts, while the Pioneers committed seven errors to two for the Outlaws.
POWELL 13, EVANSTON 3 (F/5)
After a nearly three-hour first game the Pioneers and Outlaws enacted a two-hours time limit on the second game due to a long drive for Evanston to return home.
Evanston got on the board in the top of the first after a pair of singles but struggled to find scoring against Johnson from that point forward.
Queen and Schwahn walked to start the bottom half for Powell, and a steal for both runners helped get them in scoring position.
“I think their guy coming out and struggling to throw strikes gave us an offensive boost,” Borders said.
A double by Johnson brought in both runners to give Powell a 2-1 lead.
An error throwing to third during Wantulok’s at bat brought in Johnson to give Powell a 3-1 lead after the first.
The Pioneers rediscovered their offense in the bottom of the third with walks to Schwahn and Johnson to start the inning.
A double by Stenerson brought in both but the offense did not falter this time around.
A walk to Wantulok gave Powell two runners, and a double by Worstell brought in the pair to make it 7-1.
Greenwald walked, and a double by Cordes brought in Worstell to make it 8-1.
A Welch ground out scored Greenwald, and a double by Queen brought in Cordes to finish off the offensive explosion with Powell leading 10-1.
In the fourth a single and two walks loaded the bases for Evanston with one out, and the Outlaws brought home one to cut the lead to 10-2.
Powell pushed the lead out further in the bottom half, after Stenerson and Wantulok got on base via walks and later scored on a Cordes double.
Cordes advanced to third on a passed ball during Welch’s at bat and scored on a Queen single to make it 13-2.
Evanston got a run in the top of the fifth but the Pioneers ended with a mercy rule victory after the game finished just under the two hour time limit.
“I think we played looser in that second game,” Borders said. “I felt liked we played relaxed and played better.”
Cordes finished with three RBIs; Johnson and Stenerson got two apiece; Queen, Worstell and Welch tallied one apiece.
Johnson gave up two earned runs in four innings of work, alongside six strikeouts — Worstell came on in the fifth in relief.
Powell committed only one error to Evanston’s four.
HOME GAMES CONTINUE
Powell remains at home this weekend, with a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
The first doubleheader will be against the ‘A’ Sheridan Jets (2-2) at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
“A lot of their guys are playing on the ‘AA’ team from the team last year,” Borders said.
He said he doesn’t know what to fully expect from Sheridan but knows they will hit the ball well and play strong defense.
The weekend ends with Miles City on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. — a team the Pioneers had a doubleheader scheduled with, but was canceled on April 22.
“They struggled at the ‘AA’ tournament in Casper this past weekend,” Borders said.
He said that despite Miles City struggling, he believes they will still be a strong test as they always bring strong pitching.
He said the Pioneers will continue working on defense, and begin building on the good things the team did this past weekend.