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The Powell Pioneers storm the field in celebration of their second Class A state title on Friday in Sheridan. After falling behind 5-4, Powell scored nine unanswered runs to repeat as state champs. Tribune photo by Ben Wetzel

Powell tops Sheridan to reach title game

When they met in the opening round of North District tournament play, the Sheridan Troopers stunned Powell by vaulting to a seven-run lead before Powell rallied for a 13-11 victory. Meeting in a state elimination game last Friday, the Pioneers made certain there would be no repeat.

Powell jumped on the tournament host Troopers early and often, building a 12-0 lead and cruising to a 15-7 victory that ultimately set the stage for a Class A title contest against Laramie.

Pioneers play way to Bozeman

Regional return

After a momentary third-inning hiccup, the Powell Pioneers American Legion baseball team emphatically played itself back into the Northwest Regional Class A tournament with a 13-5 victory over Laramie on Friday. The win delivered Powell its second Wyoming state Class A title in as many seasons.

Ward signs three for Trapper hoops

Additions bring summer signing total to five

On the eve of fall semester student-athletes reporting to campus, Northwest College men's basketball coach Andy Ward announced a trio of signees to the Trapper hoops program. The signings include a shooting guard, a wing and a post player.

Followers of the Trappers will likely recognize the last name of new Fort Collins, Colo., signee Ty Ackelson. Ackelson, a 6'2” shooting guard, is the younger brother of two-year Trapper Mitch Ackelson, who graduated this past spring. The younger Ackelson averaged 18 points and five rebounds per game as a senior for Fossil Ridge High School.

Included in those numbers are a 37 percent accuracy from 3-point range an an 87 percent clip at the free throw line.

“(Fossil Ridge coach) Matt Johannsen does a great job of developing his student athletes and preparing them for college and the rigors of intercollegiate basketball,” Ward said. “Ty is an exceptional 3-point shooter with outstanding range. He's an instant threat from the offensive perimeter and works very hard on the defensive end of the floor, too. He's a great fit for our basketball program and we are looking forward to his contributions at Northwest College.”

Joining Ackelson as a member of the Trappers incoming 2010-2011 recruiting class will be 6'2” wing Dee Crandall from Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City.

Crandall averaged 13 points per contest as a senior, earning all-region and all-state honors as a senion.

“Judge Memorial has a strong reputation for having an outstanding basketball program,” said Ward. “The coaching staff there consistently moves students into intercollegiate basketball programs. Dee was a member of their state championship team as a junior, plus he's an outstanding student, making the honor roll all four years.”

Crandall is expected to add depth to the Trappers' perimeter game, but Ward also notes that he provides the team with a strong, physical athlete.

“He possesses a great work ethic and has a very high basketball IQ,” Ward said.

The final addition to the Northwest College basketball family is Kemmerer native Eric Robinson. The 6'4” Robinson will reunite with former high school teammate Keeton Tucker after averaging 15 points and seven rebounds this past winter.

“Eric was recruited to play college football, but has opted instead to play college basketball,” said Ward. “He brings a tremendous work ethic to our team and will be a physical presence in the paint. He also has the ability to step out and play some on the perimenter. He shot better than 50 percent from the field as a junior and as a senior and was an all-conference and all-state selection both of those years,” added Ward.

The Trappers are coming off a 25-7 campaign in 2009-2010. Northwest College spent significant chunks of the season appearing in the NJCAA's top 25 poll.

Pioneers go extra innings


Powell's Jake Beurster delivers a pitch to home plate during district tournament action last week. On Wednesday, it was Pioneer pitcher Scotty Jameson who delivered both on the mound and at the plate in an 8-7 Pioneer victory. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Powell survives opening-round scare with 8-7 victory

The defending Class A champion Powell Pioneers were forced to work overtime in Sheridan at the opening round of the 2010 Wyoming State American Legion baseball tournament, but survived to a spot in today's (Thursday) championship semifinals with an 8-7, 10-inning victory over Torrington.

Scotty Jameson came through with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to drive across Josh Cragoe, who was hit by a pitch to reach base.

Goal is to still be playing on Sunday

The Powell Babe Ruth All-Stars baseball team will get a distinctive taste of Klamath Falls, Ore., next week, both on and off the diamond. In addition to having to travel to the southwestern Oregon community for regional competition, the All-Stars will also find themselves facing off against two of the local teams on the diamond.

The Pacific Northwest Regional tournament begins Monday evening with the tournament opening ceremony. Competition starts the following day with Powell opening against the northern Oregon representative, Hermiston, a community of approximately 15,000 residents. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m., mountain time.

Team finishes second in consolation bracket

Had it been the World Cup, it would have been called the Group of Death. As it was, Powell's 11-12 Little League All-Stars found themselves in the toughest of pools at the state tournament last week in Riverton.

Dealt into a pool that included three-time defending state champion Laramie, Rock Springs and Torrington, Powell had its work cut out for it at the start of the event. By the time the tournament ended, those same four teams were the only ones from the field of 16 still playing baseball.

During pool play Powell was unable to get much going offensively. Powell opened play against the favored Laramie team, with Laramie winning the game 12-0. The game included five Laramie home runs.

Next, Powell played Rock Springs in what was a must-win contest for both teams if they had any hope to advance to the championship bracket. Despite some outstanding defensive play and pitching, Powell was again unable to muster any offense and lost the contest, 5-0.

The final game of pool play matched Powell against Torrington, which had handed Laramie its first state tournament loss in three years the previous day. Although Powell was finally able to muster some offense, Torrington won the game 11-4.

When single-elimination bracket play began on Thursday, Powell began as the fourth seed from its pool in the consolation bracket. Powell was matched against Lander, who quickly discovered that Powell had found their bats.

Powell scored three runs in each of the first three innings and five in the fifth. Kaden Moore hit a single, a double and a triple, scoring two runs in the effort. Carson Asher had a single and two doubles, and also scored two runs. Jeron Smith, Blaze Flores, Ty Linebaugh, Alex Aguirre and Cole Brown all contributed to the pitching effort and silenced Lander's comeback bid. Powell won the game 14-10.

On Friday, Powell faced a tenacious 3-1 Platte County team from Wheatland. Powell kept its offense going as Ezra Andreasen went 4-for-5 from his lead-off spot, Carson Asher went 4-for-5 with a two-run home run and three singles, and Zac Schuler went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles. Grady Sanders and Blaze Flores combined for the win against the small-ball minded Platte County team. Powell prevailed 12-9.

The win left Powell as one of only four teams remaining in bracket play on Saturday. Laramie and Torrington met in the state championship game while Powell and Rock Springs were meeting for the consolation championship.

Unfortunately for Powell, the Rock Springs team had been able to conserve its pitching ace for the game, and Powell lost the shortened contest 14-0.

“Despite the difficult pool placement, the young Powell ball players demonstrated their character and perseverence by making it to the consolation championship game,” said Chris Brown, coach of the team. “We'd hoped for a better record during the tournament, but the players' no-quit attitude certainly left a lasting impression on their opponents.”



With teammates looking on from the dugout, Marshall McArthur awaits a pitch in the batter's box during Saturday's state championship game between Powell and Rock Springs. Tribune photos by Randal Horobik

Powell Babe Ruth repeats as state champs

Leading by just one run going into the bottom of the sixth inning against Rock Springs, Powell Babe Ruth closer Justin Lynn made a deal with his teammates in the dugout.

“I told them if they got me some runs, that I'd make it hold up,” said Lynn.

All-Stars cruise through their pool

Powell unchallenged in build-up to title game

Powell's Babe Ruth All-Stars jumped on Green River early, then finished the District 3 champs off with a late flurry on Saturday morning to reach the championship game. Powell advanced with a 14-3 victory in six innings.

The local All-Stars removed the drama early in the semifinal game. Powell sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and scored nine runs as a result. Hayden Cragoe's triple, Corey Elton's double and Frankie Vogt's single each drove in two Powell runs in the early onslaught.

Miscues cost Pioneers in title game

Team opens state against Torrington

A bevy of early errors and struggles in the batter's box conspired with a quality Gillette squad to deny the Powell Pioneers a second consecutive North Division title. Powell finished district tournament play with a 2-1 record. The team carries the No. 2 seed into state tournament play in Sheridan this week.

“We didn't make the plays we needed to and we didn't swing the bats as well as we can,” said Pioneer coach Mike Jameson. “Those are things you can't have happen at this time of the year.”

Not even Pioneer starting pitcher Scotty Jameson's nine early punch-outs of Gillette batters was enough to overcome Powell's miscues in the field. Powell was charged with four defensive errors in the first four innings. The result was an early four-run lead for the Roughriders.

The Pioneers finally scored their first hit and their first run of the contest in the fourth inning. Jameson provided Powell with its first hit of the night with a one-out single. Catcher Auston Carter followed two batters later with a solid two-out double to the right-center gap to score the run.

The momentum never carried over. Two innings later, the Roughriders connected off Jameson for a two-run home run, chasing the Pioneers longtime ace from the hill.

Josh Cragoe came aboard in the seventh and retired Gillette in order, but encountered troubles in the eighth. With one out and Powell still trailing by a 6-1 margin on the scoreboard, Gillette had six of its next seven batters reach base safely. The result was six additional Gillette runs.

Powell attempted to avert being run-ruled in the bottom of the eighth as Jameson drove in Josh Cragoe as the pair delivered Powell's only back-to-back hits of the night. A pair of infield ground balls followed, denying the Pioneers an opportunity to record their 40th win of the season.

To reach the finals, the Pioneers had to overcome an early scare against Sheridan, then rolled to their second win in as many years against Class AA Casper.

Powell's district tournament got off to a less than auspicious beginning as the Sheridan Troopers teed off early for a 6-0 lead. The Troopers added a run in the second inning and carried the 7-0 advantage into the fourth inning before Powell recorded so much as a hit.

Once the Pioneers dusted their bats off, it didn't take the team long to climb back into the contest. Powell batted around the order in the fourth inning to plate four runs. The team added three more in the fifth to tie the game up.

Powell's first lead of the game came in the sixth as Grant Geiser singled home Cragoe, who had reached base on a triple earlier.

The team added three more runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth, eventually winning by a 13-11 final score.

Jake Beuster took the win for Powell after coming in early to relieve Carter, who began the game for Powell. Beuster worked 7.1 innings, giving Powell time to mount a comeback by holding Sheridan scoreless from the third through the sixth inning.

Dallas Robirds was 3-for-5 in the game. Carter made up for his struggles on the mound with a 2-for-4 showing at bat, including two RBIs.

Powell's slow starts continued in the semifinals against Casper as the two teams played to a 1-1 tie after the first three innings.

Powell finally broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning as Colt Nix drew a bases-loaded walk and Tyler England, who would finish the game 4-for-5 at the plate, followed with a two-run single. Jameson also doubled in a run in the inning to put Powell in front 5-1.

The Pioneers would add two more runs in the sixth inning as Jameson again drove in a run. The offense was more than enough for Powell starting pitcher Colter Bostick, who threw seven strong innings in which he struck out nine Casper batters. Geiser worked the final six outs in relief and also connected for a two-run single in the eighth as part of the Pioneers' final four runs of the game.

Powell, now 39-13-2 for the summer, opens state tournament play at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Sheridan. The Pioneers play in the first game of the tournament against Torrington, a team they have faced twice previously this year. Also on Powell's side of the state bracket are AA squads Cheyenne and Casper.

Playing on the opposite side of the bracket in the first round are Gillette and Rock Springs, while tournament host Sheridan opens against Laramie. The state tournament is a full double-elimination bracket.

The tournament champion advances as Wyoming's representative to Northwest Regional play in Spokane, Wash., while the top-ranking Class A team moves on to regional play at Bozeman, Mont.

Casper, Cheyenne and Gillette are the only AA Legion programs in Wyoming this summer.

State tourney underway


Sheridan's Skyler Holwell delivers a pitch to home plate in the opening game of the 2010 Wyoming Babe Ruth state championship tournament. The event runs through Saturday afternoon in Powell. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon

Powell all-star team hopes to defend title

In the end, there can be only one.

Eight 15-year-old Babe Ruth baseball teams descended upon Powell on Wednesday to begin state tournament play. The competition will run through Saturday afternoon, with the winner earning a spot in the Pacific Northwest regional tournament, to be played later this summer in Klamath Falls, Ore.

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