Local Minors and Majors standouts gain experience in Green River, each going 1-2
Powell’s Little League Minors and Majors All-Star baseball teams competed in the Wyoming District No. 1 Tournament in Green River last weekend, each winning one game and losing two to end their seasons.
The Minors team was comprised of 9- and 10-year-olds, with two to three members picked from each of Powell’s five minors teams.
“Just a really big learning experience for all the boys,” said manager Joe Gardner. “I don’t believe any of them had ever done anything like this.”
He added that, “they’re young, but they definitely came out to play.”
At the Wyoming District No. 1 Tournament, Powell was thrown into the mix with teams from Rock Springs, Bridger Valley, Riverton, Lander, Cody, Powell and two from Green River. The district champion advanced to the state tournament.
Gardner said half to three-quarters of the teams Powell played were traveling teams, so the kids play all the time with each other.
“We only had about a month to gel as a team and get their confidence and skills up where they needed to be,” said Gardner.
The Powell minors team went 1-2 at the tournament.
“It was just a fun time to watch the kids play baseball. Definitely wasn’t the result we thought, but I thought they did wonderfully,” said Gardner.
Powell dropped a 15-2 decision to Rock Springs in game one.
Gardner said it seemed the team came out a little bit nervous.
“Kids still played decent; there was just some nerves,” said Gardner.
Powell rebounded to win their second game, against Bridger Valley, 13-11, the next day.
“They came out and just played baseball; it was really fun to watch,” Gardner said.
The Powell squad’s season concluded with an 11-8 loss to Green River.
Gardner said that, although the team lost, they rallied from a bigger deficit to fall by only three runs.
“They all played their hearts out,” he said. “Very, very proud of what they accomplished.”
The All-Star team included Landon Hyde, Talon Nuss, Luke Eastman, Jordan Loera, Taeson Schultz, Max Reynolds, Trevion Solberg, Zane Graft, Brody Payne, Ben Ostermiller, Cole Fauskee and Adam Andreason.
“It was just a great group of kids and they pretty much did everything I told them or asked them to, just played hard. They all had great attitudes,” Gardner said.
He said the tournament was a good introduction for the kids — who’d played only against each other and Lovell and Otto prior to the tournament — to see what the next level of baseball is like.
“This state definitely has some good young ball players that they had never played against,” Gardner said.
The Minors All-Star team was also coached by Corey Nuss and Cale Ostermiller.
“I have a feeling that all the kids that were on this All-Star team, this definitely isn’t their last All-Star team,” said Gardner, explaining, “Nobody that was on the team that didn’t deserve to be there; they are good baseball players.”
The Powell Little League Majors All-Star baseball team was comprised of eight 11-year-olds and four 12-year-olds, picked from each of the six majors teams.
“It’s a young crew, mostly,” said manager Chris Queen.
The All-Star Majors team started its Wyoming District No. 1 Tournament a couple weeks earlier on July 8 in Riverton. There, they took an 8-5 win over Green River — sparked in part by a two-run homer from Austin Craft.
On Thursday, July 20, the Majors All-Stars faced Big Horn County — made up of kids from Lovell and Greybull — and grabbed an early one-run lead.
“We were kind of on a roll and a great big thunderstorm came,” said Queen. “So that postponed the game until Friday morning.”
The thunderstorm put down 3 inches of rain in about an hour and a half.
“It was an amazing thunderstorm,” he said.
The next morning, Powell had to start over. This time, they lost to Big Horn County, 6-0, putting Powell in the losers bracket.
“We just couldn’t get any momentum going Friday morning,” said Queen.
However, the manager said his team played really well, made some good defensive plays and everyone got a hit.
“It was fun,” Queen said.
He thinks there would have been a different outcome if not for Thursday’s rain delay.
The loss slated Powell against Rock Springs later Friday afternoon.
Rock Springs scored five runs in the first inning.
“That’s a tough one to come back from,” said Queen. “Every run matters.”
Powell went on to lose 15-12, though the manager said his squad “played pretty well.”
The Majors All-Star team was together for about a month and a half and Queen said “everybody that was on the team — all 12 of them — improved from when we started and that was good.”
Queen said the team’s 12-year-olds told him they’re going to continue to play and move up to the next level next year.
“That’s encouraging that you get kids that want to continue to play,” he said.
As for the 11-year-olds, “I think all of those kids are going to continue to play baseball and I expect those kids to be very good next year,” Queen said. “They got a lot of experience against some older kids and I would expect them to be pretty good ball players as 12-year-olds next year.”
Those who made the Majors All-Star team were Alex DeBoer, Jacob Orr, Trey Stenerson, Austin Graft, Dalton Worstel, Jace Hyde, Treyson Norris, Cade Queen, Ethan Welch, Ryan Cordes, Dillon Payne and Jhett Schwahn. They were also coached by Colby Stenerson and Rob Hyde.