Rocky Mountain high

Posted 7/13/10

“We've talked about continuing to move forward and to do the things we do just a little better,” said Pioneer coach Mike Jameson. “I think we did that this week. We put the ball in play better. Even when we didn't get hits, we were …

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Rocky Mountain high


{gallery}07_13_10/carter{/gallery}Powell catcher Auston Carter frames a pitch during recent Powell Pioneer baseball action. Fans wanting to watch Post 26 in action have five chances to see the team at home this week as the regular season wraps up. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik Pioneers fare well against Colorado competitionThe Powell Pioneers won four out of five games, including a trio of wins over Colorado competition, as the team tuned up for post-season competition with an appearance at Casper's Mike Devereaux baseball tournament. Powell carries a 33-12-2 mark into the final week of the regular season.

“We've talked about continuing to move forward and to do the things we do just a little better,” said Pioneer coach Mike Jameson. “I think we did that this week. We put the ball in play better. Even when we didn't get hits, we were forcing teams to make plays against us rather than striking out. Our pitchers threw more strikes. It's what you want to see late in the year.”

Over the space of four days, the Pioneers posted wins of 4-3 over Smoky Valley, Colo., 17-9 over Southern Colorado (SOCO), 14-4 over Fort Carson, Colo., and 10-2 over Torrington. Only a 13-1 loss to Grandview, Colo., prevented Powell from returning home unbeaten in the tournament.

“Going in, we didn't know anything about most of the teams we faced,” said Jameson. “We did what we had to do against some really good Colorado clubs. The kids played well.”

The Pioneers opened tournament play with a narrow 4-3 victory over Smoky Hill. Scotty Jameson put Powell on top early with a two-run home run over the left field fence, then did his best on the mound to keep Smoky Hill off balance.

Jameson surrendered seven hits, but only two after Smoky Hill rallied briefly for a 3-2 lead in the third inning. He finished with 11 strikeouts.

Grant Geiser scored Powell's winning run in the seventh inning, racing home from third base to score on a passed ball.

The Pioneers didn't have much chance to celebrate their win. The team did little more than clear the field before having to turn around and face Southern Colorado.

“Southern Colorado was almost like playing a junior college team,” said Mike Jameson. “All but four of their kids played college ball this past year and the four that didn't are all on their way to college to play this fall.”

Perhaps understandably then, the Pioneers fell into an early 5-0 hole before steadily working their way back for a 17-9 victory. Powell battered Southern Colorado pitching to the tune of 14 hits.

“It was great to see us swing the bats like that against a good caliber of opponent,” said Jameson. “We had a good disciplined approach at the plate and put the ball in play.”

Tyler England finished 3-for-4 in the contest with a pair of doubles and a triple, resulting in three RBIs. Geiser added a 3-for-3 performance with a double and two RBIs. Colt Nix went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Nix also picked up the win on the mound after relieving starter Jake Beuster. Nix threw 3.1 innings on the hill, allowing just two runs and five hits. It marked Nix's second win in relief on the hill.

“Its good to see him come in and pick us up,” Jameson said. “It's great to have a kid like Colt who can step in and help get you out of a sticky situation.”

After back-to-back wins on Thursday, the Pioneers hit their only stumbling block of the tournament in a 13-1 loss to Grandview. Geiser took the loss on the mound.

“He threw a good game, but Grandview is a very solid hitting team,” said Jameson. “I don't know how many 0-2 counts they got hits off of.”

The Grandview squad also featured Colorado's top-rated prep prospect.

Powell finished with just three hits in the game as Josh Cragoe tripled to go along with hits by Geiser and Auston Carter.

“The final score doesn't look good, but we still put the ball in play,” said Jameson. “We only struck out four times against a very solid ball club.”

Questions of how Powell would react to one of the team's most lopsided defeats of the summer were quickly answered Saturday. The Pioneers steamrolled Fort Carson early to score its second run-rule victory of the tournament.

Colter Bostick was one of three Pioneer batters to finish 2-for-3 at the plate and missed recording a grand slam home run by inches after striking a ball off the yellow line atop the outfield fence. Bostick finished with three RBIs.

Scotty Jameosn and Olie Olson also went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs each.

Cragoe added a 2-for-2 performance with two RBIs and also picked up the win on the pitching mound, throwing four innings in which he allowed six hits and a walk.

Powell wrapped up its final tournament appearance of the regular season with a 10-2 win over Torrington. Carter took the win on the mound, allowing just three hits in five innings of work.

Bostick again had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Geiser was 3-for-3 with a triple and two doubles. Dallas Robirds added a two-run double in the contest.

Now the Pioneers must return their focus to conference play. Powell plays six games between now and Sunday, starting with a nine-inning contest tonight (Tuesday) against Cody. A win will secure the No. 1 seed for the Pioneers in district tournament play, which begins next week in Cody.

Powell also plays a nine-inning game at Cody on Wednesday night. The team returns home Friday for a non-conference doubleheader against Riverton before wrapping up the year with a Sunday, July 18, conference doubleheader against Jackson.

Colter Bostick will take the hill for the Pioneers in tonight's (Tuesday) 6 p.m. contest. Powell will feature a throwback look in the contest as the team breaks out its old pinstripe uniforms for a night.